Year 2 Day 143
Read - Acts 27v13-26
Message - Scott Woodburn
On Tuesday we considered the difficult task of making a decision. Do we trust our hearts or the experts? Paul couldn’t be considered an expert when it came to the high seas. He certainly had experience on the ocean wave but Paul’s guidance was overruled by those who knew better and had even more experience. Unfortunately, very quickly, Paul’s warning proved to be correct.
A wind called “the northeaster” hit the ship (v14) and soon the crew were forced to jettison the cargo (v18). It was so dark in the midst of the storm that the passengers saw neither the sun nor the stars for many days (v20). As the light was cut off, everyone lost hope believing that any chance of being rescued was lost.
It is at this point that Paul speaks for a second time. On dry land he had urged the ship not to sail (v21) but now he tells his shipmates that they are to take heart (v22). The ship will be lost but there will be no loss of life amongst the crew. Paul will not be silencing the storm nor will he be walking on water. Paul is not Christ but he is Christ’s messenger.
An angel had visited Paul and revealed to him God’s plan (v23). Paul would one day stand before Nero and so God had decreed that all onboard would be saved from the storm (v24). Paul was utterly confident that God would do everything that He said and so prepared his listeners to run aground on some island (v26).
It’s interesting isn’t it how this event unfolded. Paul was not disobedient in going to Rome. The angel was clear that Paul would stand before Caesar, so it would be incorrect to think that the storm was somehow punishment for Paul heading to the so called “Eternal City”. The centurion hadn’t listened to Paul’s advice but again, it would be incorrect to think that the storm was punishment for the centurion’s closed ears.
So what’s going on? It is the Lord’s will for Paul to go to Rome and it is the Lord’s will for the northeaster to blow. Our God is good and gracious and kind but sometimes in our lives it may appear to us that we are sinking fast and the Lord simply does not care. Is this true? No. Not at all. Brothers and sisters consider your Saviour. Jesus Christ is the beloved Son of God and by faith we are counted as righteous in the sight of Almighty God. Is the Lord spiteful towards you? Is the Lord waiting for a moment to pay you back? Perish the thought. The Lord does not hate His children, instead He loves and cherishes them because they, by faith, are in Christ.
The road may be long. The storm may be dark. The ship may sink beneath you - yet, the Lord is for His people and the Lord will deliver them! The Lord will deliver you! “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8v38-39)
Q32 What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life? They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, sanctification, and the several benefits which, in this life, do either accompany or flow from them.