Year 2 Day 145
Read - Acts 27v27-44
Message - Scott Woodburn
Paul had spoken God’s message and it couldn’t have been clearer - God was going to deliver everyone on the ship. Unfortunately some of the sailors weren’t too convinced. The ship was drawing ever closer to dry land (v27-29) but just when deliverance was in sight, some sailors tried to lower the ship’s lifeboat to get away (v30). They had waited for two weeks (v27) and perhaps believed enough time had passed.
Luke records for us Paul’s third speech of chapter 27. Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” (v31) These sailors were snubbing their noses at the deliverance of God. They were taking matters into their own hands and their departure from the ship would mean certain death for everyone onboard (276 persons).
The centurion was now in the habit of trusting Paul fully and so the soldiers cut the lifeboat’s ropes and allowed it to float away (v32). This was an extraordinary vote of confidence in Paul and his God. To allow a means of escape to drift into the sea was a sure sign that at least some trusted that what Paul had declared was going to come true.
The Apostles’ fourth and final speech seems a little bit out of place. It is morning and deliverance has not yet arrived but Paul urges everyone to have something to eat. He said “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” (V33-34)
Paul didn’t speak about lifeboats or anchors or dry land. Instead he urged them to take breakfast because not a hair on their head would perish. The passengers were encouraged (v36) and in another extraordinary act of faith they cast the cargo of wheat into the sea. Such an act would only be taken by individuals who believed that they would soon have access to dry land and other sources of food.
There was still some turmoil ahead. The ship struck a reef and began to break up (v41). The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them escaping justice (v42). Yet the centurion stopped their plan in order to protect Paul and so by swimming or floating on parts of the collapsing ship, everyone made dry land and just as God had promised, every life was spared (v43-44).
Faith is a receiving and resting in Christ as He is offered in the Gospel. We often find the resting part of that statement the most difficult. We have prayed earnestly and see no answer. We have waited for days and months and years and see no deliverance. We decide to give up on God and instead reach for the lifeboat. Brothers and sisters, in such moments I urge you to rest in Christ.
The Lord is not tied to our timescale or agenda but He remains our Deliverer. He is patient and kind towards us and in Christ we will not perish - one day we will wake on the golden shores of heaven. Until then? Rest in Christ. Seek good sleep. Wake and enjoy food. Sit and pray. Be still and wait upon the Lord. It may seem far off, but child of God, deliverance is coming!
Q34 What is adoption? Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges, of the sons of God.