Highlights In Today's Reading:
Paul warns of danger but is ignored; shipwreck follows (chap. 27). Paul: Shipwrecked on Malta (28:1-10); witness in Rome (28:17-31).
Paul appealed his case to Caesar and Festus placed him in the custody of Julius, a centurion (officer) (27:1). He was to take Paul safely to Rome for trial before Nero, the Roman emperor. At the Port of Myra he found a ship sailing for Italy. Winds and storms made the journey very slow and dangerous. On reaching Fair Havens in Crete (27:8), Paul urged them to stay there during the winter, warning: I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage; but the majority urged Julius to continue to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete (27:10-12).
After two perilous weeks (27:7) of furious hurricane winds beating upon them, their vessel was pounded to pieces off the coast of Melita (28:1). All hope that we should be saved was then taken away. Confidently, Paul . . . said . . . be of good cheer. . . . For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee (27:20-24).
None of the 276 aboard was lost (27:37,44). Although the shipwreck created severe physical and financial hardship, the Lord used these circumstances to allow Paul to witness to the passengers and to the people on the island. Many of the inhabitants of Melita were healed through Paul's ministry (28:7-10).
At Rome the following spring, Christians came out to meet Paul. He thanked God, and took courage (28:15). As a Roman citizen Paul was permitted to rent a house; however, soldiers were assigned to guard him (28:16).
Three days after Paul arrived in Rome, he called together the local Jewish leadership and explained: For the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. . . . And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him. Paul persuaded them concerning Jesus, both out of the Law of Moses, and out of the Prophets (28:17,20,23).
At times, our life's voyage will face violent storms. It may seem that all hope that we should be saved is gone (27:20). But there will come a day, if we remain faithful, when we will see what God accomplished as a result of our trials. With Paul we can confidently say: I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake (II Cor. 12:10).
Thought for Today:
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him (Lam. 3:24).
26:5 most straitest =most exact, strictest; 26:7 instantly =earnestly; 27:7 under =close to, on the side sheltered from wind; 27:12 commodious =suitable; 27:30 under colour =under pretense; 28:2 barbarous people =foreigners, who don't speak your language well; 28:13 fetched a compass =circled around; 28:16 suffered =permitted.
For Acts 28:26-27: See Is. 6:9-10.
Pray for Bible Pathway Printer: Ambrose Printing Staff, Nashville TN • Country: Luxembourg (429,000) in western Europe • Major languages: Luxembourgish and German • Religious freedom • 84% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; .1% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord in adversity, for He will hear (Ps. 116:1-4,8).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 16:26