We start off this week by reading Acts 27:1-12
v1 A centurion is a man who is over at least 100 soldiers and up to as many as 999 soldiers.
- In the original text this regiment is not called “Augustan” but the Greek name for it is Sebastian (which means reverence or honour). When this name is translated into Latin the name is Augustus (a title of the Roman Emperor)
v2 This boat had come from Adramyttium – a city in Turkey.
- Even though Paul is in G-d’s will (on a journey to speak to Gentile kings, as prophesied) he is going to encounter many obstacles. If we think that if we are doing G-d’s will things will always go smoothly for us then we are sadly mistaken. Even doing G-d’s will we need to keep trusting in and relying on G-d.
v3 Sidon is in Lebanon. They have left Israel. A lot of Jewish people used to live in Sidon.
v4 “The winds were contrary” – against them – This also has a spiritual message attached to it – there is a spirit contrary to what G-d is up to and to what Paul is submitting to.
The wind made it too dangerous to sail along the coastline (danger of being dashed on the rocks) so they had to go out into the deep or open sea.
v6 The centurion was the one in charge of directing the affairs of the prisoners and which boats they went on etc
v7 With limited supplies it is not advisable to be at sea for long periods of time. Slow going is not ideal.
- The wind is still opposing them. Things are not going well for Paul.
v8 Fair haven can also be translated “good harbor “. They came to a place where it was safe for them to dock the ship.
v9 They had travelled so slowly that they had now entered into a season of the year when it was not good to travel in the Mediterranean Sea.
- The Fast refers to Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. After this fast it is winter and people begin to pray for wind and rain so that the land can be blessed.
v10 Paul felt in his spirit that this voyage was not going to end well.
- If we do not heed the Word of G-d our lives will be filled with great loss and it may even cost us our lives
v11 The centurion is an example of one who does not give respect to the ones who know the Word of G-d and who listen to the Spirit of G-d.
v12 Phoenix was a short journey to the other side of Crete from where they were. It had a more fitting harbor for them to spend the winter in