27 It was decided that we would sail for Italy. Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a Roman commander named Julius. He belonged to the Imperial Guard. 2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium. It was about to sail for ports along the coast of Asia Minor. We headed out to sea. Aristarchus was with us. He was a Macedonian from Thessalonica. 3 The next day we landed at Sidon. There Julius was kind to Paul. He let Paul visit his friends so they could give him what he needed. 4 From there we headed out to sea again. We passed the calmer side of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 5 We sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia. Then we landed at Myra in Lycia. 6 There the commander found a ship from Alexandria sailing for Italy. He put us on board. 7 We moved along slowly for many days. We had trouble getting to Cnidus. The wind did not let us stay on course. So we passed the calmer side of Crete, opposite Salmone. 8 It was not easy to sail along the coast. Then we came to a place called Fair Havens. It was near the town of Lasea. 9 A lot of time had passed. Sailing had already become dangerous. By now it was after the Day of Atonement, a day of fasting. So Paul gave them a warning. 10 “Men,” he said, “I can see that our trip is going to be dangerous. The ship and everything in it will be lost. Our own lives will be in danger also.” 11 But the commander didn’t listen to what Paul said. Instead, he followed the advice of the pilot and the ship’s owner. 12 The harbor wasn’t a good place for ships to stay during winter. So most of the people decided we should sail on. They hoped we would reach Phoenix. They wanted to spend the winter there. Phoenix was a harbor in Crete. It faced both southwest and northwest.
In this passage we have a very detailed description of part of Paul’s journey to Rome.
Travelling by sea at this time of the year (late Sept) was very dangerous and with each delay they were actually getting closer to Nov when shipping shut down for the winter as it was considered suicidal to sail after Nov 10.
Paul even warned the Captain in v10 that there would be trouble if they kept going, however the captain ignored him and the storm did eventually claim the ship, but not the crew.
There are times when the journey we are on appears to be dangerous, feeling very unsafe, like we are not going to make it. But God doesn’t promise to make it all smooth sailing, BUT he promises to never leave us or abandon us. It may feel like we won’t make it but we do, and we will. If we keep our eyes on God and have faith in him we can remain calm, like Paul, even when the storm rages around us.
Father I thank you that you will get us to the destination that you have planned for us, no matter how rough our journey is. Help me to always focus on you and to trust you with my whole heart.
Written by Andrew Martin