Acts + Letters Lesson 27 Day 3

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Acts 27:27-44

Paul’s ship crashed on the island of Malta.

6. The crew lost all hope of survival.

After two weeks of stormy weather, rough seas, skies so dark they couldn’t see the sun or stars to navigate, and many days without food, they despaired for their lives.

Then around midnight, they sensed they might be near land. 

Fearing they might run aground on rocks, they dropped four anchors and prayed for daylight. “The threat of shipwreck and death made them men of prayer.”1

The sailors tried to escape in a boat, but “Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, ‘Unless these stay in the ship, you can’t be saved.'”

Paul knew two reasons why they had to stay together. First, the ship’s passengers desperately needed the crew’s expertise, and it would be fatal if the crew abandoned the passengers. Second, Paul probably sensed that God’s promise to give him the lives of the whole ship’s company assumed that they would stay together.1

Just before dawn, Paul begged everyone to take some food; “for this is for your safety; for not a hair will perish from any of your heads.” It took a lot of faith to make that statement.

He took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of all 276 of them, “then he broke it and began to eat.” Verse 36 says, “then they all cheered up, and they also took food.” Paul’s confidence in God inspired everyone else. It also seems that when he prayed, God showed up!

7. God fulfilled the prophecy. 

Everyone made it to the safety of shore. Those who couldn’t swim survived by holding onto floating planks and other things from the ship. 

The ship and all the cargo was lost, but all souls on board survived.

The centurion and the other Roman soldiers respected Paul because of his ability to hear from God.2

8. It always looks darkest before the dawn.

It’s hard to hold on in faith when a situation isn’t changing. It would help to have an angel show up and give us a specific promise. 

We are all in a stormy time right now. Quarantine, economic uncertainty, and disrupted routines feels like a storm. No one but God knows when it will end.  

God promised that all would survive. But he didn’t tell them where they would end up.

I pray that all of us cheer up and not a hair on our heads is lost. 

I also pray that the Kingdom of God has many more souls on board when we get to shore.

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2 AWM Living Commentary

Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.

My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 27 Day 3

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