October 10, 2023
Contrary winds (2)
"The voyage will be with...much loss." Ac 27:10 RSV
Paul told everyone on board the ship bound for Rome, "The voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but...our lives" (v. 10 RSV).
One author writes: "Paul didn't talk about a little skirmish...a little loss..This voyage would be beset with disasters, with much loss, even to their lives...
To Paul this journey meant eventual martyrdom. However, Paul would not die until his mission was completed, until he would strike a fatal blow at the heart of the Roman Empire, its political genius, military supremacy...pride and pomp. When Paul walked into Rome with the Gospel, hell shook and all heaven rejoiced.
We are all beneficiaries because that little battle-scarred man with a chain around his ankle started to convert many in Rome [and gave] us the books of Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians and Philemon while he was the prisoner of Jesus Christ...[These phrases] from Acts 27 bring this journey more to life:
The winds were contrary...we sailed slowly...passing with difficulty...sailing was now dangerous…tempestuous winds arose...we secured the skiff with difficulty...we used cables to undergird the ship…exceedingly tempest tossed...we threw the ship's tackle overboard...neither sun nor stars appeared for many days...all hope that we would get saved was given up... the stern was broken up." The destination is within reach-but not without "much loss."
Thank God that's not the end of the story. The centurion, "wishing to save Paul...commanded those who could swim to throw themselves overboard...and make for the shore...the rest on...pieces of the vessel...escaped safely to land." (Ac 27:43-44 AMPC).
When you keep your eyes on Jesus, you will make it in spite of the storm. Guaranteed!