After over two years of imprisonment, both at Jerusalem and Caesarea, Paul requested to be tried before Caesar in Rome. His wish granted, according to his right as a Roman citizen, Paul’s journey thus far had taken him to Fair Havens, a Cretan seaport city on the Mediterranean Sea.
“9 Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.” (Acts 27:9-10)
At Fair Havens, the apostle and those with him spend an extended period of time, waiting for favorable sailing weather. By the time the Day of Atonement or “Yom Kippur” had passed, held on the tenth day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar or “Tishri,” it was determined the ship should carry on in spite of the fact it was now winter, a cloudy season when sailing was difficult as sailors relied on the sun and stars for navigation.
Yom Kippur, a 25 hour period of reconciliation from sunset to sunset commanded by God as written in Leviticus 23:26–28 notably calls on Jews to refrain from eating or drinking, bathing or washing, anointing oneself with perfumes or lotions, as well as engage in marital relations.
“11 Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul.” (Acts 27:11)
Though the centurion who headed the envoy, a Roman named Julius showed favor toward Paul, he sided with the sailors and ordered the trip to continue on toward Rome in spite of Paul’s warning of forthcoming doom.
“12 And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there.” (Acts 27:12)
As Fair Havens was not a suitable harbor to spend the winter, the captain, the owner of the ship and those under their authority voted to sail on to Phoenix which was a better location for the ship, crew and passengers. As the trip continued, a hurricane-force “northeaster” storm would prevent them from reaching Phoenix, ending in shipwreck on the shore on the island of Melite. Let’s pray!
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.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre