Acts 27:27-44 (JDV)
Acts 27:27 When the fourteenth night came, we were drifting in the Adriatic Sea, and about midnight the sailors thought they were approaching land.
Acts 27:28 They took soundings and found it to be a hundred and twenty feet deep; when they had sailed a little farther and sounded again, they found it to be ninety feet deep.
Acts 27:29 Then, fearing we might run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight to come.
Acts 27:30 Some sailors tried to escape from the ship; they had let down the skiff into the sea, pretending that they were going to put out anchors from the bow.
Acts 27:31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be rescued.”
Acts 27:32 Then the soldiers cut the ropes holding the skiff and let it drop away.
Acts 27:33 When it was about daylight, Paul urged them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have been waiting and going without food, having eaten nothing.
Acts 27:34 So I urge you to take some food. You see, this is for your rescue, since not a hair from your head will be destroyed.”
Acts 27:35 After he said these things and had taken some bread, he gave thanks to God in the presence of all of them, and after he broke it, he began to eat.
Acts 27:36 They all were encouraged and took food themselves.
Acts 27:37 In all we were 276 throats on the ship.
Acts 27:38 When they had eaten enough, they began to lighten the ship by throwing the grain overboard into the sea.
Acts 27:39 When daylight came, they did not recognize the land but sighted a bay with a beach. They planned to run the ship ashore if they could.
Acts 27:40 After cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that held the rudders. Then they lifted up the foresail to the wind and headed for the beach.
Acts 27:41 But they struck a sandbar and ran the ship aground. The bow jammed fast and stayed immovable, while the stern began to break up by the pounding of the waves.
Acts 27:42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners so that no one could swim away and escape.
Acts 27:43 But the centurion kept them from carrying out their plan because he wanted to save Paul, and so he ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land.
Acts 27:44 The rest were to follow, some on planks and some on debris from the ship. In this way, everyone safely reached the land.
The ship Paul was traveling on was immense. It had to be to hold almost 300 people. Some of them were prisoners like Paul, being transported, others were sailors, responsible for working the sails, anchors and such. There was a large group of soldiers, led by a centurion. We don’t know how many soldiers, but the name centurion meant “commander of a hundred” so it was a large group. Then there were the rest: civilians seeking transport.
God had a mission for Paul, and he kept him alive for that mission. He also used Paul to keep all 276 of those throats breathing.
You and I have a mission as well. God wants us to carry out that mission. But he does not call us to be indifferent about the lives of all those around us. We can share the gospel without destroying our communities. It is best if we help to preserve them.
Lord, give us the wisdom to preserve our communities, so that we can continue the mission you called us to among them.
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