In Acts 27, the Apostle Paul starts out on a perilous journey by sea.
He first warns the men surrounding him that the voyage will be beset with danger and “much damage” mainly because of the time of year that they are starting out. (Verse 10)
A soft Southerly wind lulls them into feeling safe; and so they set out, ignoring Paul’s admonition.
A tempest arises…the ship must be “lightened” by throwing their goods overboard. Hope is soon dashed as the storm worsens.
After two weeks of being thrown about by the wind and high seas, Paul addresses the crew and tells them to “be of good cheer” for “the Angel of The Lord” told him that no man would lose his life. That “God hath given thee (Paul) all them that sail with thee.” ***Notice the verb tense.***
All that sail with thee. Not all that **did** sail with thee, or all that **sailed** with thee..but all that SAIL with thee. ***Present tense.*** Now.
(There were 266 souls on board that ship. That number is equivalent to the number 5. ***2 + 6 = 8 + 6 = 14 = 1 + 4 = 5.*** The number 5 is the number of grace, as set forth in the scriptures.) Grace is given all who stay with Paul. Who do not jump ship. Paul tells the men who try to lower a life boat that if they DO leave that tempest tossed ship, that they will die. The men then cut the life boat ropes and stay with Paul.
He then advises them to “eat meat” for they have not eaten for two weeks at that point in time. And so, in the midst of the storm, the men receive meat and their strength is restored, as well as their hope of survival. (We, too are told that we need meat when struggling with the storms in our lives..that meat being provided to us as we read the Word of God and think upon it. Mull it over. Digest it. “Eat the book” as Daniel is told…it will be sweet on the tongue, and bitter in the stomach, as we begin to draw our sustenance from Him. As He gives us His strength while we face each trial and tribulation. As we apply those words to our very lives. The often…bitter truth.)
The crew rallies as their attitudes become changed and refreshed. They are “of good cheer” as they rid the ship of it’s baggage. After taking in this meat, their food…they “committed themselves to the sea” upping the sails and making for shore. They run aground. The fore- part of the ship is held fast. Stuck. The rear part is broken up. All who could swim are instructed to cast themselves into the sea and swim for it. The remaining grab boards, broken pieces of the ship…anything that would keep them afloat as they float towards land.
Paul tells them that no life will be lost of those who sail with him. All 266 aboard bear witness to his words; living to tell the tale. “They escaped all safe to land.”
Isn’t this Paul’s message even today, told us in his Epistles; when he says we will be judged by “his gospel” at the Bema Seat of Christ? That if we stay with him our lives will be saved?
Jesus Christ Himself told Paul “I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness BOTH of these things which thou hast seen and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee. Delivering thee from the people and from the Gentiles UNTO whom now I send thee.” Acts 20: 16-17 (Caps mine.)
His appointment was made after Christ arose. His instruction was different than that taught to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, who knew The Lord while He walked upon the earth. Only Paul teaches us who were once Gentiles, to follow him even as he follows Jesus Christ. Of course, this message also applies to the Jewish followers; as well as all believers in this age of grace. But Paul was sent specifically to the Gentiles, while Peter and his crew ministered to the believers in Jerusalem.
We can apply the lesson in Acts 27 to our situation in today’s world. Grace is given to those who believe and “stay” with Paul. Who follow Paul’s gospel. There are more than two or three witnesses found in scripture that attest to these words; this grace, this example which relates to the 266 saved and refers to the number 5 which pertains to grace.
There are 5 offerings in the Tabernacle in Leviticus. (These were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.)
5 women in Christ’s genealogy.
Romans 11: 5 and 6…grace is mentioned 5 times. Works…4 times. (4 is the number of the world.)
5 names of Jesus (Isaiah 9: 6)
5 “works of grace” (Romans )
5 senses in our bodies
5… Is also connected to death. There is no grace without a substitutionary death.
Oh…and those 14 days that the ship’s crew had fasted, until Paul told them to “be of good cheer” and to “eat meat”…equals 1+ 4 or….5.
It’s all about grace….and also…
Something for us…to “chew” upon, while He sets our faith-driven sails to follow the coordinates that will take us to the destination known only to Him.