Acts 27 is truly a gripping story. The details recorded by Luke make this passage a real nail biter! This section is describing Paul’s shipwreck on the Island of Malta as he was a prisoner proceeding to Rome to speak for God.
In a previous encounter with Jesus, when Paul was almost torn to pieces in a riot, Jesus had appeared to him and told him that he would not die in prison, but that he needed to go to Rome to preach the Gospel. God proceeded to protect Paul as the Roman Commander sent 470 troops to guard Paul from those who had made a vow to kill him.
Now that he is on the ship and going through a terrible storm that lasted 14 days and in which everyone had given up assuming they would be killed, an angel came to Paul and told Paul again that he would not die but that he would make it to Rome.
The question that hits me is, “why did this storm have to happen since God had already promised to take Paul to Rome?” Why did Paul and the other 267 passengers have to endure such a horrendous experience? The problem is the text does not say!
Here again we see that even though God had promised Paul that he would make it to Rome, this leg of the journey was anything but easy. He and those with him struggled with all their might to save themselves from destruction, but it was God who protected them as they put forth their effort. We can assume that many were open to the Gospel after Paul’s predictions came true, but again, the text does not say.
Father, thank you for Luke and his careful recording of this story in Paul’s life. Paul’s faith must have been tested as he endured 14 days and nights at sea thinking that certain destruction was imminent. Yet, we see him living by faith and trusting in your promise to take him to Rome. Even so, you saw fit to send an angel to encourage him in this great time of trial.
May you help me to live in the moment and trust you every minute of the day as I do. May you call to memory your promises to me so that I may be an example of living by faith as Paul was.
Following Jesus with you,