Chapter Twenty-Seven — Part Two: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 05/07/2023Foundation Scriptures:
a. Acts 27:13-14 NKJV — When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete. 14 But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon.
b. Tempestuous (Greek typhōnikos) — stormy; like a whirlwind; hurricane, typhoon.
c. Euroclydon is an ancient term for an eastern storm—a typhoon, whirlwind, or hurricane, blowing in all directions—causing or raising mighty/broad waves.
d. Acts 27:15-16 NKJV — So when the ship was caught, and could not head into the wind, we let her drive. 16 And running under the shelter of an island called Clauda, we secured the skiff with difficulty.
e. The ship was caught in this mighty storm and driven/carried along by the wind.
f. Clauda was an island on the southwest coast of Crete, now called Gaza, directly south of Phenice.
g. Boat (Greek skaphē) — skiff; anything dug out; hollow vessel; trough; tray; tub.
h. This was their lifeboat and was usually pulled behind the ship.
i. With much difficulty, they pulled it up and secured it on the deck.
2. Trying to Save the Ship.
a. Acts 27:17 NKJV — When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on the Syrtis Sands, they struck sail and so were driven.
b. Every ship carried large cables to undergird the ship to save it from the strain resulting from the movement of the mast in a storm.
c. They secured the ship by passing the cables around the hull—and across the keel, sides, and deck.
d. Syrtis Sands — quicksands off the north coast of Africa.
e. Syrtis, the name of two places in the African or Libyan Sea between Carthage and Cyrenaicia.
f. They were full of shallows and sandbanks, and therefore destructive to ships.
g. The western Syrtis was called Syrtis minor, and the eastern was called Syrtis major.
h. Because they were afraid of running aground, they lowered the gear (sails and ropes) and took down the beam to which the sail was attached, and so they were driven along.
3. Lightening the Load.
a. Acts 27:18 NKJV — And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship.
b. They threw out some cargo to lighten the ship.
c. Acts 27:19 NKJV — On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands.
d. Everyone on the ship was pressed into service to help with throwing everything else overboard—the yard, sail, all the ship’s furnishings, baggage, etc.
e. Acts 27:20 NKJV — Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.
f. Tempest (Greek cheimōn) — a tempest; winter: the winter season; foul weather; stormy or rainy weather.
g. Translated winter (Matthew 24:20; Mark 13:18; John 10:22; 2 Timothy 4:21) and foul weather (Matthew 16:3).
4. Angelic Encouragement.
a. Acts 27:21 NKJV — But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss.
b. They had not eaten and must have been hungry, weak, and feeling hopeless and helpless.
c. At this point, there was not much else they could do to save themselves and were perhaps more open to hearing what Paul had to say.
d. Paul reproved the crew for not taking his advice or heeding his warnings.
e. But he also encouraged them to take heart, because although the ship would be lost, he assured them that they ALL would be spared.
f. Acts 27:22-24 NKJV — And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’
g. Paul testifies of the mighty God to Whom he belonged and Whom he served.
h. If we believe in Him and serve Him, we will be saved, delivered, and preserved.
i. That night, his God sent him a messenger, an angel, who assured him that he would live to stand before Caesar.
j. Paul was on a divine mission and his life was in the Lord’s hands.
k. The angel used the words, “God has granted/given you all those sailing with you.”
l. The Lord is answering the prayers Paul must have prayed for himself, and all those with him, and granting his request.
m. God will answer the prayers of intercession the righteous pray on behalf of others, as a testimony to them.
n. As God moves to save a child of His, He will show favor to those who are strangers to Him in the process—to demonstrate His power, Lordship, and mercy.
o. It is not a good thing to be on a ship with a disobedient “Jonah” who is running from God’s will—but it is a good thing to be on a ship with an obedient man or woman who is valued and protected by Almighty God!
p. Like Paul, Jonah witnessed to those on the ship with him: “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land” (Jonah 1:9).
q. Acts 27:25-26 NKJV — Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. 26 However, we must run aground on a certain island.”
r. Paul encourages them to take heart and forewarns them to prepare to run aground on an island, and although it would be a disaster for the ship, their lives would be saved.