Acts 27:39-44 Paul’s Voyage to Rome – Shipwrecked on Malta

In the fall of 60 AD, Paul was on his way to Rome aboard an egyptian grain ship when the vessel was caught up in a Euroclydon, a cyclonic tempestuous northeast wind the like of a hurricane. The ship had sailed from Fair Havens, which was not a suitable harbor to spend the winter. In spite of Paul’s warning that the ship would wreck and never reach its destination, it was the hope of the captain and crew that the ship would reach Phoenix, a sea port on the Mediterranean that provided shelter from northern winter winds.

After many days adrift on the Adriatic Sea, the central basin of the Mediterranean located between Sicily and Greece, it appeared as though the ship was approaching land. When the sailors realized the sea floor was rising, they assumed land was nearby, so the crew dropped as many anchors necessary to prevent the ship from running aground on the rocks.

“39 When it was day, they did not recognize the land; but they observed a bay with a beach, onto which they planned to run the ship if possible.” (Acts 27:39)

The following morning, the sailors found themselves near an unfamiliar bay that featured a sloping beach which they deemed a suitable location to run the ship ashore. The shallow water would provide a break from the force of the waves while the beach was favorable for survival and rescue.

“40 And they let go the anchors and left them in the sea, meanwhile loosing the rudder ropes; and they hoisted the mainsail to the wind and made for shore.” (Acts 27:40)

As they planned to run the ship ashore, the sailors cut the anchors loose, freed then lowered the ship’s rudder and set sail to the wind so they could steer the vessel toward the beach. The rudder has been pulled from the water to keep it out of the way of the anchors’ cables.

“41 But striking a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the violence of the waves.” (Acts 27:41)

When they ran the vessel aground, the prow or the portion of the ship’s bow that’s above water got stuck in the sand while the back of the ship was broken by the violent waves. The location where the vessel was shipwrecked was the intersection of two bodies of water off the coast of Malta, an island in the Mediterranean sea.

“42 And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, 44 and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.” (Acts 27:42-44)

To prevent any of the prisoners from escaping, it was the soldiers’ plan to kill them rather than risk an escape. But, Julius, the centurion ordered those soldiers who could swim to go ahead and get to the shore while the rest stayed on the ship to keep guard on the prisoners. Then the prisoners were sent in, some swimming and other floating on buoyant objects until the crew, soldiers and prisoners all made it safely to the shore, just as Paul prophesied at Fair Heavens before the ship set sail. Let’s pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: danielstpierre@thrivethroughchrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.

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