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Are You Prepared for God to Answer Your Prayers? 

Paul asked God to go to Rome, and to Rome Paul went

Acts 27

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 2, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. The Roman officials decided to send Paul to Rome, 
    1. just as he had appealed.
  2. Making the appeal to Caesar and getting to him are two different things. 


  1. Acts 27.1–3 | The Journey to Rome Begins 
    1. They chose a centurion named Julius of the Augustan Regiment
      1. to take Paul and some other prisoners to Rome.
    2. Luke and Aristarchus joined Paul,
      1. not as prisoners, but
      2. as companions, and
        1. they all boarded a ship of Adramyttium, and
        2. they would sail along the coast of Asia,
          1. staying close to land
          2. that they might go easily to one port or another.
    3. From Caesarea they sailed up the coast to Sidon.
      1. The Roman centurion Julius could see that Paul was not a runner,
      2. so he allowed Paul to get off the ship at Sidon and
        1. see friends,
        2. who could attend to him.
  2. Acts 27.4–8 | Troubles Begin 
    1. Paul battled men,
      1. then he had to battle the elements,
      2. battling the winds on the open sea, and
        1. when you have strong winds,
        2. you have huge waves, and
          1. huge waves toss large ships around as though children’s toys.
          2. However, Paul wanted to go to Rome.
    2. Luke shows us the route that they took.
      1. They used Cyprus as a shelter, for
      2. it protected against the contrary winds.
        1. They went over the sea to the area by Cilicia and Pamphylia in Asia,
        2. then to Myra, which is part of Lycia.
          1. The Roman centurion turned travel agent,
          2. found a ship from Alexandria that was on its way to Italy.
      3. However, this was no pleasure cruise.
        1. Although they sailed slowly for several days,
        2. the wind kept them from traveling faster.
          1. Therefore, around Salmone on Crete
          2. they used the shelter of the island to make any progress.
            1. They had a rough time getting past that point, but
            2. they made it to Fair Havens near the city of Lasea.
  3. Acts 27.9–13 | Increasing Danger 
    1. Sailing under such conditions proved fruitless, because
      1. they spent a lot of time doing it without making much progress, and
      2. the danger increased significantly.
    2. Then one of the prisoners onboard spoke up,

      10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.”

      1. Even the non-sailor Paul could see
        1. that they were headed for disaster, for
        2. the weather would only get worse as winter progressed.
      2. That could also lead to loss of life.
        1. However, Paul did not sound like the typical prisoner,
        2. who thinks only of himself, but
          1. concerned himself with the loss of
          2. “the cargo and ship, [and] also our lives.”
    3. Apparently the helmsman (the one steering the ship), and the owner
      1. stated that they should continue to sail.
      2. If you had been the centurion,
        1. would you have listened to Paul the non-sailor, or
        2. would you have listened to the helmsman and the owner of the ship?
    4. Everyone onboard gave their advice and
      1. the majority thought that they should sail from there,
      2. hoping to reach a harbor on Crete called Phoenix, because
        1. it faced southwest and northwest,
        2. providing good protection from the storm,
          1. which was better than the port where they were.
          2. Since the south wind blew gently,
            1. they believed that their plan would work, and
            2. they sailed, staying close to Crete.
  4. Acts 27.14–20 | Watch Out for the Euroclydon 
    1. It was not long before they ran into wild head wind,
      1. famously named Euroclydon, Euroaquilo, or northeaster,

        “Euroclydon (or in Latin: Euroaquilo) is a cyclonic tempestuous northeast wind which blows in the Mediterranean, mostly in autumn and winter…” (Wikipedia).
      2. Once the ship entered the Euroclydon,
        1. they could no longer sail straight into the head wind,
        2. so they had to let the wind drive them as it wished.
    2. While they tried to keep in the shelter of an island known as Clauda,
      1. they worked to make the skiff,
      2. their life boat, secure, bringing it onboard.
        1. Then they worked to undergird the ship,
        2. in case they ran aground
          1. on the Syrtis Sands off the Northern African coast, and
          2. they could keep the ship together.
            1. They struck sail, dropping the sails suddenly,
            2. letting the waves and the wind drive them freely.
    3. The gale–force storm continued and
      1. they began to lighten the ship,
      2. raising it higher in the water to prevent sinking.
        1. The situation got so bad
        2. that they believed they could not be saved.
  5. Acts 27.21–26 | Everyone Will Be Saved 
    1. Who eats during such a storm?
      1. The days of this storm increased and
      2. so did the number of days that the people on the ship did not eat.
    2. Then the same prisoner spoke up again,

      21b …“Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. 22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. 26 However, we must run aground on a certain island.”

      1. He reminded them of his earlier advice,
      2. hoping that they would now listen to him,
        1. giving them hope and
        2. later preventing the Roman soldiers from doing something against the prisoners.
    3. God wanted Paul to appear before Caesar.
      1. Therefore, he would survive, but
      2. God was kind enough to the other passengers
        1. to promise survival for everyone,
        2. except they would experience ship wreck.
  6. Acts 27.27–32 | Fourteen Nights of This Storm 
    1. What a ride!
      1. For two weeks the wind blew,
      2. driving them wherever it wished in the Adriatic Sea.
    2. Then sometime around midnight,
      1. the sailors could tell that they approached land.
      2. They took soundings to find out the depth of the water.
        1. First, they were at 20 fathoms, or 120 feet.
        2. Another sounding revealed 15 fathoms, or 90 feet deep.
    3. While this meant they approached land,
      1. it also meant they might crash on rocks.
      2. To stop the ship, they dropped four anchors from the stern, the back, and
        1. prayed that daylight would come soon,
        2. so that they could see to navigate.
    4. However, the experienced men onboard, the sailors,
      1. believed the risk told them to get off the ship.
      2. They pretended to put out anchors from the prow,
        1. the bow above the water, and
        2. started to take the skiff for themselves,
          1. leaving the passengers on the ship, but
          2. Paul told the centurion that the sailors had to remain on the ship,“Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.”
            1. Now the centurion and his soldiers listened to Paul, and
            2. they cut the ropes to the skiff and let it fall to the sea.
  7. VII.Acts 27.33–38 | A Prisoner Takes the Lead 
    1. As dawn approached, Paul spoke to everyone, imploring them to eat.
    2. A prisoner took the leadership
      1. over the ship owner,
      2. over the helmsman, and
      3. over the centurion, but
        1. everyone saw the prisoner’s wisdom, for
        2. he was connected to the Creator of the raging and peaceful seas.
    3. Paul the prisoner, truly cared for everyone onboard,

      33 And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.”

      1. After fasting for two weeks they would be weak, and
      2. they needed strength for the swim that they would soon make.
    4. He led by example,
      1. taking bread,
      2. giving thanks to God in front of everyone,
        1. he began to eat.
        2. That food must have looked good to everyone, because
          1. they then found the encouragement and
          2. they all began to eat.
    5. Two hundred seventy-six people were on that ship.
      1. That number requires a lot of food to feed for the whole voyage, but
      2. they then saw the wisdom of making the ship even lighter, and
        1. they threw the wheat overboard.
  8. VIII.Acts 27.39–44 | Everyone Escapes 
    1. They had gone far enough off course
      1. that the sailors did not recognize the island before them, but
      2. they did see a bay with a beach, and
        1. they planned to run the ship aground on the beach.
        2. They did not bother bringing the anchors up, but
          1. let them drop off into the sea,
            1. further lightening the ship,
          2. loosing the rudders,
            1. believing the wind and the waves
            2. would drive them in the right direction,
          3. they pulled up their main sail and
            1. headed for the shore.
            2. Unfortunately they came to a spot where two opposing moving of waters met, and
              1. the waters forced them into a spot underneath the sea.
              2. The front of the ship so stuck in the sea bottom
                1. that it would not move, but
                2. the waves behind them did not let up.
                  1. The waves pounded the ship and
                  2. it started to break up.
    2. Then the centurion’s soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners,
      1. fearing that they would escape during the storm, but
      2. the centurion had grown in respect toward Paul, and
        1. prevented the soldiers from their evil deed.
        2. The centurion commanded the swimmers onboard
          1. to jump in and swim to land, and
          2. the rest to find something floatable,
            1. grab it and make for land.
            2. All 276 people survived.


  1. Sometimes experts cannot see or know everything. 
  2. Sometimes a non-expert can see what the experts cannot. 
  3. Weather predicting has improved, but we still cannot always get it right. 
  4. God delivers in the darkest moments. 
    1. When all hope has disappeared.
    2. Judges 7.2
    3. Job
  5. Listen to someone who knows God.