There is so much in the story of the ship that carried Paul to Rome. It seems prophetic for our times in this pandemic. The world has been caught up in a tempestuous storm.
Paul had just told everyone what the angel had said to him. Then in Acts 27:26 he said, “However, we must run aground on a certain island.”
In verse 30 some of the sailors were seeking to escape. Paul told the centurion that unless the men stayed on the ship they wouldn’t be saved.
Verses 39-44 is the account of the shipwreck. Verse 44 says that they all escaped safely to the land, which was called Malta.
Acts 28:1-10 is the account of their time on the island. Paul had many shipwreck opportunities to bear witness of the Lord. First, the natives welcomed them. It was raining and cold so they kindled a fire. Verse 3 says, “But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand.”
Verse 5 says, “But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.” What a testimony! The natives were expecting him to suddenly fall down dead.
The leading man of the Island entertained the shipwrecked men for three days. His father was sick. Verse 8-9 says, “…Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid hands on him and healed him. So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed.”
Paul used the shipwreck to declare the Lord before those around him. Nothing daunted him. He moved forward in the power and confidence of the Lord. He demonstrated his faith at every opportunity.
Paul shook off the deadly viper. What an example for us. We must shake off the fear that seeks to fasten onto us through this virus, just as Paul shook off the viper. Those around us are watching to see how we react. May our confidence be in the Lord. May He be glorified through our words and actions.