“Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island” (Acts 27:21-26).
Acts 27 and 28 records Paul’s journey to Rome. Paul, together with other prisoners, were escorted by a Centurion named Julius. It was almost winter time and taking the trip by ship would mean facing the possibility of storms on the sea.
Paul found favor with Julius who gave him liberty to be with his friends so that his needs might be provided (Acts 27:3). They went through rough sailing. When they arrived in Fair Havens, a meeting took place and Paul warned proceeding further (Acts 27:9-10).
Unfortunately, the centurion and the majority present listened and followed the advice of the owner and the pilot rather than Paul’s (Acts 27:11). As they began to sail towards Phoenix, a very strong storm came and pushed the ship to wander into the deep for 14 days (Acts 27:33). Nearly all lost any hope of surviving the tempest. Paul, however, encouraged them to be courageous and to trust in God (Acts 27:21-26; 33-37). Like those in the ship with Paul, we often find ourselves in trouble when we do not listen to godly counsel. One example from Scripture is Rehoboam whose rejection of wise counsel resulted in the dividing of the nation of Israel (1 Kings 12:1-24).
God, who is all wise and all knowing, faithfully reminds us of the importance of listening to godly and wise counsel (Proverbs 1:7; 3:1-6; 4:13; 19:20-21;28:26; ff.). The Lord has given us His written word to be our guide in our life’s journey (Psalm 119:105; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Following God’s word is wise and will spare us from the many heartaches, disappointments and dangers that may come our way.