Daily Devotional: Wednesday 24th Juneby William Moody
27 When the fourteenth night had come, as we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. 28 So they took a sounding and found twenty fathoms.1 A little farther on they took a sounding again and found fifteen fathoms.2 29 And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. 30 And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, and had lowered the ship's boat into the sea under pretense of laying out anchors from the bow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship's boat and let it go.
After 14 very difficult days, Paul and his travelling companions are nearing land. Their initial actions are so wise (v29). They drop anchors and pray. They do what they can and entrust themselves to God’s mercy. In life we need both. We don’t just act relying on ourselves, and on the other hand we don’t say we trust in God and sit back and do nothing. Rather we trust and obey.
There is an important lesson from the attempt of the sailors to flee the ship (v30-32). Their actions were very selfish and showed no desire to help others. It would be only as the whole ship stuck together that they would get through the crisis.
Sometimes in church or in a church organisation times are not easy and the easy option for some people is to abandon ship. But often such actions are selfish, thinking of just ‘Me, me, me!’ God wants us in making decisions to be selfless, taking into serious consideration how we can help others by staying. Far away fields often look greener, but maybe we need to cut the lifeboats away (v32) and be determined to see the storm out with God’s people.
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