Putting God's Word into Practice…

Acts 27 ~ Friendship, Failed Attempts, Fortification, Faith and Fulfillment

on August 2, 2012

Friendship-Acts 27:1-3 I don’t know why I always pictured Paul alone with a bunch of other prisoners, soldiers and sailors on this voyage.  It is clear in these verses that Luke was with him and also Aristarchus.  He had faithful companions at his side.  I wanted to find out more about Aristarchus.  Looking back, he was one of Paul’s companions in Ephesus who was dragged into the theater during the mass riot started by the idol makers.  He was part of the travelers who went on ahead to Troas to meet Paul.  He was witness to Paul raising Eutychus from the dead.  And he must have followed Paul to Jerusalem regardless of the foretold dangers and onto Caesarea throughout Paul’s two-year imprisonment.  In his letter to the Colossians, Paul mentioned Aristarchus as a “fellow prisoner.”  And in his letter to Philemon, Aristarchus is named as a “fellow worker.”  Luke’s and Aristarchus’s commitment to Paul through thick and thin is a great example of what true friendship looks like.  I’m thankful to have people like that in my life, and I hope I can be that kind of friend to other’s who are striving for the gospel.

Failed Attempts-Acts 27:4-20.  The voyage had been slow going and increasingly more dangerous with each day.  Paul attempted to convince the centurion to get the pilot and owner of the ship to stay put for the winter in an effort to save lives and possessions.  However, his premonitions were disregarded and they forged ahead into wind and waves, loss of belongings and direction until all hope of being rescued was abandoned.  Spiritually, I think we have to get to that point sometimes, too.  We can be warned; but until we are at the place of utter brokenness and despair when all hope is lost, we can’t appreciate our need for a Rescuer!

Fortification-Acts 27:21-32.  Paul gently reminded those on board that what he had warned had come to pass.  They were more prone to listen this time.  You can almost hear the passion in his voice as he encouraged them to take heart!  God told Paul to not be afraid, and he was able to pass that on to all aboard.  He didn’t promise that that what was coming was going to be easy, but that in the end they would survive.  He fortified their hope and faith.

Faith-Acts 27:33-38.  After reminding those on the ship that they would live, Paul entreated them to eat and gain some strength for what was to come–a big swim!  Paul was able to thank God in the midst of their current circumstances because he had faith that God was going to see them through.  The 276 men on board also demonstrated faith.  They ate their fill and threw all the remaining wheat overboard. It would have been easy and even worldly wise to say, “Let’s hold a little back just in case Paul’s God doesn’t come through for us.” Their unity also gives evidence to the supernatural fulfillment of prophecy that is taking place–their rescue and Paul’s final destination of Rome still to come.

Fulfillment-Acts 27:39-28:2  This chapter ends with the sentence, “And so it was that all were brought safely to land.”  But our gracious God doesn’t end there.  In the first two verses of Acts 28, we learn that the native people of Malta showed them all unusual kindness and welcomed them all–giving them relief from the cold and the rain.  When we trust God to rescue us, He always gives us more than we deserve!


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