07/10/19 – Acts 27:21-44; Psalm 8:1-9; Proverbs 18:23-24
As I read the remainder of Acts 27, a word kept echoing in my mind — faith. In this case it is the faith of the pagan sailors in the inspiration of Paul. These sailors took steps that no sailor would have taken unless they had utmost faith in the speaker.
Acts 27: 30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away.
Acts 27: 34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” 35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36 They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves.37 Altogether there were 276 of us on board. 38 When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.
Did you notice what the sailors did that was so unusual? First, due to their faith in Paul they broke a primary tenant of seamanship. They discarded their lifeboat – their only earthly mode of rescue. Then, they threw away all of their food – essential for human nourishment.
And we did not hear Paul preach a single sermon to these men. What we do see is his example of faith – he thanked God “in front of them all.”
The message is clear to me — it is never so much what we “say” as what we “do.”