Shipwreck!

After several more days & nights of being driven up & down on the Adriatic Sea, the sailors sensed one night  that their ship was drawing near some land (315).

They took soundings & found the depth to be 20 fathoms.  Having gone a little farther, they took soundings again & found the depth to be 15 fathoms. The captain feared the ship might run aground on the rocks, so they dropped four anchors from the stern & prayed for day to come.

Some of the sailors tried to escape from the ship by letting down the life boat into the sea, under pretense of putting out anchors from the prow.  But Paul, trusting the message from God’s angel, said to Julius & his soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.”  So Julius had the soldiers cut the ropes of the life boat & let it fall into the water.

As day was about to dawn, Paul was prompted by the Holy Spirit to implore all the crew & passengers to eat some food: “Today is the fourteenth day you have been without food. But now you must take nourishment — so that you can survive the shipwreck & so that not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.”

Then Paul took bread & gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat.

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So everyone on board was encouraged to eat – all 276 people.  When they had all eaten enough, they lightened the ship again by throwing overboard the remaining food.

At daybreak, they didn’t recognize the nearby land, but they did discover a bay with a beach onto which they planned to run the ship.

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So they let go the anchors & left them in the sea; they loosed the rudder ropes; and they hoisted the mainsail to the wind to make for shore.

But the ship ran aground sooner than expected.  The prow stuck fast & remained immovable, while the stern was being broken apart by the violence of the waves!

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(315) Acts 27:27-41