Year 2 Day 141
Read - Acts 27v1-12
Message - Scott Woodburn
I heard recently that in the modern age we have grown to distrust the “experts”. It doesn’t matter how many letters are after someone’s name, quite a few of us are unimpressed by those who put their head above the parapet and tell us what to think or do or say. I’m not sure how or why this distrust has grown but in modern society few of us are prepared to take anyone’s word for anything.
Paul is finally on his way to Rome and takes to the high seas to complete his journey. We must always remember that we are not reading an account of 2021 life. In the ancient world any journey was perilous and Paul was already aware of such a statistic. This wasn’t a matter of jumping into a car or ferry or plane. Successfully arriving in Rome was by no means a certainty.
The journey was made all the more difficult by the fact that Paul was travelling to Rome as winter approached. Luke tells us that the journey was even more dangerous than usual because the Fast was already over (v9). The Fast referenced here was the Day of Atonement and so Paul’s journey was probably taking place during the month of October and the in the ancient world, sailing anywhere at this stage was an unwise decision.
It’s into this context that Paul advised “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” (v10). As we will see Paul’s words would prove to be largely accurate. He was a man with much experience on the seas (2 Corinthians 11v25-26) but unfortunately the centurion listened more to the pilot and owner of the ship than he did to Paul (v11) and so the ship put out to sea and headed for Phoenix (v12).
What would you have done in such an instance? A passenger offers solid advice but the owner of the ship disagrees. Not only that but the pilot of the ship thinks that the journey ahead is possible. Some passengers want to go, others don’t. Do you trust the wisdom of a well meaning passenger , do you trust the experts or do you follow your heart?
Life is full of such moments and as I write one of the most contentious issues relates to the Covid vaccine. Should you take it or not? Which one should you take? Pfizer? Astra-Zeneca? Sputnik? Experts disagree and there are differing opinions even within the church of Christ. What is to be done? It is not my place to offer you medical advice - I leave that to the experts. Instead I counsel you that in every decision you make, to seek the Lord.
We trust a God who is not made of wood or stone. He listens to us as we pray and He has spoken to us by His Son (Hebrews 1v1-2). Do not follow your heart for it is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17v9). Nor should you blindly accept the testimony of the experts or your friends or your family - none of them are perfect. Instead, once more, I counsel you that in every decision you make, to seek the Lord.
Our God does not promise us an easy path, there will be days that we will be called to follow Christ through the worst of storms and shipwrecks but He does promise that if we acknowledge Him in all our ways then He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3v5-6). I don’t know why we no longer trust the “experts” but my friends may we always seek and trust our good and gracious God.
Q30 How doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ? The Spirit applieth to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling.