And running under the shelter of an island called Clauda, we secured the skiff with difficulty.
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.
And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship.
On the third day we threw the ship's tackle overboard with our own hands.
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.
As a child I remember reading the classic story Swiss Family Robinson, which in the translation I knew — it was written by German-Swiss author Johann David Wyss — began with the words “For six days we were tempest-tossed.” Wyss wrote his story to teach his four sons about Christian values, and used Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe as a model, (the original name for Wyss’s tale was The Swiss Robinson — the family’s name was never stated).
That double barrelled tempest-tossed stuck in my mind, and Acts 27 has all the thrill of an action and adventure story, but with the added drive of a deep spiritual dimension. It is a chapter which has drawn me back again and again — each time finding new insights with each reading. Verse 20 concludes with the despairing line that all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.
The story moves swiftly on, with Paul allowing himself an ‘I told you so, but would you listen?’ moment, following that with the revelation that God had spoken to him by an angel, assuring him that everyone would be saved, although the ship would be lost. [Acts 27:22-23]
All that could be done was done — they threw all they had overboard and lightened the ship, then they threw the ship’s tackle overboard, to no avail. I have to be honest and say that I cannot see the point in throwing all that ballast overboard. It speaks of out and out panic, further endangering ship and those onboard, so that what we have here is a group of inexperienced seafarers faced with every mariners nightmare. There is nothing to be done about it. Perhaps for this reason if for no other they were prepared to listen to Paul
The lesson for us here is that the hand of man cannot save himself from disaster — no matter how hard we may try. Only through faith in God, hearing in The Holy Spirit and embracing the life of our Lord can we be saved. Even in the worst of scenario’s He is with us, extending the arm of safety and help in the time of trouble.
Meditate On These Things
"O you afflicted one,
Tossed with tempest, and not comforted,
Behold, I will lay your stones with colourful gems,
And lay your foundations with sapphires.
I will make your pinnacles of rubies,
Your gates of crystal,
And all your walls of precious stones.
All your children shall be taught by the LORD,
And great shall be the peace of your children.
In righteousness you shall be established;
You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;
And from terror, for it shall not come near you.
Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me.
Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.
HURRICANE — Robin Mark
A HOLY CONDITION: Oswald Chambers on JOY and PEACE
GEORGE and GILL STEWART