Acts 27:1-26 The Message Bible

Paul Sails for Rome

27 1  As soon as arrangements were complete for our sailing to Italy, Paul and a few other prisoners were placed under the supervision of a centurion named Julius, a member of an elite guard. 2  We boarded a ship from Adramyttium that was bound for Ephesus and ports west. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, went with us. 3  The next day we put in at Sidon. Julius treated Paul most decently - let him get off the ship and enjoy the hospitality of his friends there. 4  Out to sea again, we sailed north under the protection of the northeast shore of Cyprus because winds out of the west were against us, 5  and then along the coast westward to the port of Myra. 6  There the centurion found an Egyptian ship headed for Italy and transferred us on board. 7  We ran into bad weather and found it impossible to stay on course. After much difficulty, we finally made it to the southern coast of the island of Crete 8  and docked at Good Harbor (appropriate name!). 9  By this time we had lost a lot of time. We had passed the autumn equinox, so it would be stormy weather from now on through the winter, too dangerous for sailing. Paul warned, 10  "I see only disaster ahead for cargo and ship - to say nothing of our lives! - if we put out to sea now." 11  The centurion set Paul's warning aside and let the ship captain and the shipowner talk him into trying for the next harbor.

12  But it was not the best harbor for staying the winter. Phoenix, a few miles further on, was more suitable.

The Storm at Sea

13  When a gentle southerly breeze came up, they weighed anchor, thinking it would be smooth sailing. 14  But they were no sooner out to sea than a gale-force wind, the infamous nor'easter, struck. 15  They lost all control of the ship. It was a cork in the storm. 16  We came under the lee of the small island named Clauda, and managed to get a lifeboat ready and reef the sails. 17  But rocky shoals prevented us from getting close. We only managed to avoid them by throwing out drift anchors. 18  Next day, out on the high seas again and badly damaged now by the storm, we dumped the cargo overboard. 19  The third day the sailors lightened the ship further by throwing off all the tackle and provisions. 20  It had been many days since we had seen either sun or stars. Wind and waves were battering us unmercifully, and we lost all hope of rescue.

21  With our appetite for both food and life long gone, Paul took his place in our midst and said, "Friends, you really should have listened to me back in Crete. We could have avoided all this trouble and trial. 22  But there's no need to dwell on that now. From now on, things are looking up! I can assure you that there'll not be a single drowning among us, although I can't say as much for the ship - the ship itself is doomed. 23  "Last night God's angel stood at my side, an angel of this God I serve, 24  saying to me, 'Don't give up, Paul. You're going to stand before Caesar yet - and everyone sailing with you is also going to make it.' 25  So, dear friends, take heart. I believe God will do exactly what he told me. 26  But we're going to shipwreck on some island or other."

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