Chapter Twenty-Seven — Part Three: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 05/14/2023Foundation Scriptures:
1. Close to Land.
a. Acts 27:27 NKJV — Now when the fourteenth night had come, as we were driven up and down in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors sensed that they were drawing near some land.
b. They had endured the storm for fourteen days and were being driven up and down in the Adriatic area of the Mediterranean Sea—when the sailors sensed that some land was close by.
c. Acts 27:28 NKJV — And they took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and when they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be fifteen fathoms.
d. They had a rope with measurements on it and a heavy weight, or plummet, usually made of lead and attached to the end of the rope, wherewith they could measure the depth of water that was less than 100 fathoms deep.
e. Twenty fathoms was about 40 yards deep and fifteen fathoms was about 30 yards deep.
f. Acts 27:29 NKJV — Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come.
g. Vessels of that day did not have heavy anchors as they do today, so they carried more of them.
2. Stay Together.
a. Acts 27:30-31 NKJV — And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, when they had let down the skiff into the sea, under pretense of putting out anchors from the prow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.”
b. Some of the sailors tried to sneak off the ship—a very cowardly thing to do—but Paul noticed it and warned the centurion and the soldiers that unless everyone remained on the ship, none of them would survive.
c. Acts 27:32 NKJV — Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the skiff and let it fall off.
d. The soldiers listened to Paul and cut the skiff free.
e. When you are in a precarious position, it is best to trust in and obey the Word of the Lord than to rely on the arm of the flesh (Ps. 46:1; 3).
f. Only when we cut off all dependance on natural support, will we be able to experience the supernatural deliverance of God.
3. Eat for Your Health.
a. Acts 27:33-35 NKJV — And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.”
b. After two weeks of fasting, Paul urged them to eat something for their health’s sake.
c. There’s a time to fast and there’s a time to eat—for the sake of your health and the preservation of your life.
d. Health (KJV) (Greek: soteria) — translated “salvation” 40 times in the New Testament; but rendered one time (here) as “health/survival/safety.”
e. Not one hair of your head will be lost—this is a figure of speech, denoting complete indemnity from physical harm (1 Kings 1:52; Luke 21:18).
f. Acts 27:35-36 NKJV — And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat. 36 Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves.
g. Paul blessed the bread and ate it, and they were encouraged to eat as well.
h. Acts 27:37 AMPC — All told there were 276 souls of us in the ship.
i. Here, we find out how many souls (living beings, precious to God) were on the ship.
4. All Lives Saved.
a. Acts 27:38 NKJV — So when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and threw out the wheat into the sea.
b. They were paid to transport cargo, such as wheat from Egypt, the breadbasket of that region, to other parts of the Mediterranean, but now they tossed it overboard as a last resort.
c. Acts 27:39-41 NKJV — 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. 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. 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.
d. Because they had been driven for days by the wind and the waves, the sailors had no idea where they were, but they saw a likely place to beach the ship.
e. Under normal circumstances, the sailors would have never deliberately run aground, but they had no other choice.
f. Acts 27:42-43a NKJV — 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,
g. Usually, the soldiers would have killed the prisoners, rather than giving them opportunity to escape, but Paul had favor with the centurion; therefore, all the prisoners were spared with him.
h. Acts 27:43b-44 NKJV — and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.
i. Some of them swam, and some of them clung onto boards that had been broken off the ship, and all of them escaped safely to the land.
j. As the Lord had promised, even though they lost the ship, not one of them lost their lives.
k. No matter what we go through in life, if we trust the word of the Lord, and obey Him, we will be preserved and protected until He calls us home.