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.
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."
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.
Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves.
And in all we were two hundred and seventy-six persons on the ship.
So when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and threw out the wheat into the sea.
From our gathering on Tuesday 22nd March 2022
“When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon.” [Acts 27:13-14]. Often, over the last few years I have found myself led to Acts 27, and each time The LORD has had something new to show me. Paul, a prisoner in chains, is being transported with many others across the Mediterranean Sea to Rome to be judged by Caesar. At first the journey goes well; the south wind softly blessing their journey; but passing the island of Crete, a tempest arises in the east, threatening the lives of all aboard.
‘Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food.‘ Fourteen is a number which points us to deliverance and salvation, and ‘the fourteenth day’ signifies Passover, setting us on the road to victory. Part of the great feast of Passover, is the feast of unleavened bread. This passage is unveiling a picture of salvation for us, as it is often at times of storm in our lives, when we can see no way of escape, that the LORD’s saving grace and abundant provision carries us through.
Paul urges those on board to take nourishment ‘for this is for your survival’ — a matter of life and death. His next words which he attaches to ‘survival’, seems to our understanding to be unusual. ‘Since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you’ is likely used to refer to The LORD’s covering, The hair on our heads being a metaphor for His protection over our minds, bringing peace instead of panic, comfort instead of fear. He then took bread and gave thanks to God. We are encouraged to give thanks to The LORD ‘in all things’, and the very act of giving thanks to God, changes our mindset. ‘Then they were all encouraged.’
Until I heard of the numerology of scripture, I wondered why The Bible was so keen on numbers, giving the dimensions of things in such detail, describing the number of men in a battle, or the number of loaves and fishes Jesus’ distributed to the crowd. Once you discover the meanings attributed to numbers as a sort of Biblical shorthand, you soon come to the conclusion that ‘the numbers always add up’, and underpin the spiritual truth being expressed. In verse 37, we are told that there were ‘two hundred and seventy six persons on the ship. In older Bible versions, this would likely be expressed as two hundred and seventy and six.
This strongly suggests the idea that is the underlying theme of Acts, chapter 27, which is that we have insufficient within us to restore, or continue our natural lives beyond the allotted span. Only God has the power of life and death. Only God has the power to save and bring deliverance.
Why do the people throw away the wheat to lighten the ship? Again, this is pointing to our insufficiency, but also promotes our trust in God. Cast away all that is dragging you down. It is not your real provision. All you need, The LORD will provide. Take nourishment— all you need — from Him; freely given.
‘Meditate on these things…’
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
“Salvation Belongs To Our God”
A HOLY CONDITION: Oswald Chambers on PEACE
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GEORGE and GILL STEWART