THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
Welcome once again and glad to have you here to share today's Daily Bread.
You may have gathered this already, that Paul, indeed, wanted to go
to Rome. Remember several studies ago, in Chapter 19, the Lord worked
special miracles through Paul, when Paul first said he must also see Rome.
And after that, in Chapter 23, when the Lord stood by Paul in the castle,
when the Jewish people first accused him, He told Paul to cheer up, because
he must testify in Rome about Him, just like he did in Jerusalem.
PAUL'S FOURTH JOURNEY STUDY ON PAUL'S FOURTH JOURNEY STORY WITH PAUL'S FOURTH JOURNEY MAP AND PAUL'S FOURTH JOURNEY MESSAGE
So, you guessed
it, Paul is off to Italy. When they decided that they should sail there,
Paul was put in the care of a man named Julius, a centurion of Caesar
Augustus' army. (If you read the text in your Bible, you'll find that Luke
is using the word "we" again, indicating that he was traveling with Paul.)
They set sail on a ship sailing for Adramyttium, meaning to sail along the
coasts of Asia, because Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with
them. (Aristarchus is one of the fellows who has been traveling with Paul
since he left Greece on his third journey.) The next day, they landed at
Sidon. Julius treated Paul courteously and allowed him to go to his friends'
to rest. When they launched from there, they sailed under Cyprus, because
the winds were contrary (blowing against them).
Let's have a little Daily Bread Crumb here! If you look at any
Map of Paul's Journeys,
you'll see that on the way to Rome, they in fact sailed north of Cyprus,
which most would say is above it, not under it. Actually, the term under, in
this case, means near. Also, the words up and down, seem to be transposed at
times in Biblical text, for example, when Luke talks about going from Caesarea
to Jerusalem, he says, ascended (going up) from Caesarea,
when Jerusalem is really south of Caesarea.
However, consider also that Caesarea is
on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea where the land is flat, and Jerusalem
is more mountainous, so Luke may have been speaking of the terrain, rather
than the direction. Oft times if a person is going to a capital city, no
matter the geographical position, it is referred to as "ascending" to it, or
going "up" to it.
When they had sailed over
the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, they came to Myra, a city of Lycia, and
there, Julius found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put them
on it. When they had sailed slowly for many days, and had barely reached
Cnidus, because the wind wouldn't allow them, they sailed under
(near) Crete, over against Salmone; and, just passing it, came to a place
which is called The Fair Havens; near the city of Lasea.
PAUL'S FOURTH JOURNEY LESSON WITH PAUL'S FOURTH JOURNEY EXPLANATION
Much time had passed since they left Caesarea and it
was a dangerous time of year for sailing, because the fast was now already
past. (The fast was the Day of Atonement, which is the 10th day
of the 7th month.) Paul advised them, saying, Sirs, I think this
trip will be a disaster with much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship,
but also of our lives. Nonetheless, Julius believed the captain and owner of
the ship more than the things that Paul said.
at the harbor weren't suitable to stay the winter, so other passengers
advised to leave there too, if by any chance they could get to Phenice (also
called Phoenix on some maps) and spend the winter there, which is also a
port of Crete. They would first have to travel southwest, and then northwest
to get there. When the south wind blew softly, they thought they got their
wish, and leaving there, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after,
there beat against the ship a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. When the
ship was caught up in the wind and couldn't bear it, they let her (the ship)
drive. And running near an island called Clauda, they had to work hard,
using people to assist in securing the boat (the lifeboat) and bracing up
underneath the ship. Afraid of falling into the sandbars, they stretched
sail and were driven.
The next day,
being tossed violently with a tempest, they threw the cargo off the ship,
and the third day, they threw out the tackling of the ship with their own
hands. Neither the sun or the stars appeared for many days, and as the
tempest loomed over them, all hope that they would be saved, was given up.
After a long time without food, Paul stood up in the midst of them, and said,
Sirs, you should have
listened to me, and shouldn't have left Crete, and gained this harm and
loss. Now I urge you to be of good cheer, because no man among you will lose
his life, but only the ship. Because, this very night, there stood by me,
the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; you
must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God
hath given thee all them that sail with thee (that is, their lives would be
spared with Paul's). So, be grateful: because I believe God,
that it will happen just as it was told to me, but we will be tossed up onto
fourteenth night had come, as they were driven up and down in Adria, at
about midnight the shipmen estimated that they were coming near land. They
sounded (measured the depth) and found it to be twenty fathoms: and when
they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen
fathoms. Then fearing that they might fall upon rocks, they cast four
anchors out of the stern, and wished for the daylight. As the shipmen were
about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the lifeboat into the
sea, acting like they wanted to cast anchors out of the bow, Paul said
to Julius and to the soldiers, Unless these remain in the ship, you
can't be saved. Finally, believing Paul, the soldiers cut off the ropes of
the lifeboat, and let it fall off.
PAUL'S FOURTH JOURNEY INFORMATION WITH PAUL'S FOURTH JOURNEY MEANING
While the day was
dawning, Paul urged them all to eat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day
that you've waited and continued fasting, having eaten nothing. So I ask you
to eat some food, this is for your health: because there shall not one hair
fall from the head of any of you. And when he said this, he took bread, and
gave thanks to God in the presence of them all: and when he had broken it,
he began to eat.
Then they were all
in good spirits, and they also ate. There were 276 people on the ship, and
when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and threw the wheat
into the sea. When it was daylight, they didn't see the land: but they
discovered a certain bay with a shore, into which they thought, if it were
possible, to thrust in the ship. And when they had taken up the anchors,
they loosed the rudder bands, and hoisted up the mainsail to the wind, and
headed toward shore.
They ran the ship
aground; and the forepart stuck firmly, and remained unmovable, but the
hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. The soldiers' advice
was to kill the prisoners, in case any of them should swim out, and escape,
but Julius, willing to save Paul, kept them from their idea; and commanded
that those who could swim should first jump into the sea, and get to land,
and the rest should float in on boards, and some on broken pieces of the
ship. And so it came to pass, that they all escaped safely to land.
What an adventure! It's a shame that you don't hear about this story very
often, but if 276 people died, instead of surviving such a dilemma, then
surely it would be a more popular story. You certainly won't want to miss
the next Daily Bread, as it is the last chapter of the book of the Acts
of the Apostles, so you're about to find out just exactly what happened to Paul. See you soon!