On the Way to See Nero

While on board a ship that was carrying him to Italy, Paul once again received God’s guidance by being sensitive to his spirit. As the ship’s captain and pilot were trying to determine at which port they should winter on the island of Crete, Paul received a revelation:

And when considerable time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous, since even the fast was already over, Paul began to admonish them, and said to them, “Men, I perceive that the voyage will certainly be attended with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives” (Acts 27:9-10, emphasis added).

Paul perceived what was about to occur. Obviously his perception was though an impression given by the Spirit.

Unfortunately, the captain didn’t listen to Paul and attempted to reach another harbor. As a result, the ship was caught in a violent storm for two weeks. The situation was so perilous that the ship’s crew jettisoned all the cargo on the second day, and on the third day even threw the ship’s tackle overboard. Sometime later, Paul received further guidance:

And since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us, from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned. And when they had gone a long time without food, then Paul stood up in their midst and said, “Men, you ought to have followed my advice and not to have set sail from Crete, and incurred this damage and loss. And yet now I urge you to keep up your courage, for there shall be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night an angel of God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’ Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God, that it will turn out exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on a certain island” (Acts 27:20-26).

I think it is obvious why God granted Paul more “spectacular guidance” in light of his present predicament. Beyond that ordeal, Paul would soon face the plight of shipwreck. Shortly after that he would be bitten by a deadly snake (see Act 27:41-28:5). It’s nice to have an angel let you know in advance that everything is going to be OK!