Growing with God’s Word and Trusting in God’s Promises
Acts 27:39—28:15: A violent storm destroys the ship, and everyone who had been aboard arrives safely on the island of Malta. They are welcomed by Publius, the chief of the island, and while there Paul heals Publius’ father and all those who were sick.
Paul went into his room, prayed, placed his hands on him, and healed him.
39When day came, the sailors did not recognize the coast, but they noticed a bay with a beach and decided that, if possible, they would run the ship aground there.40So they cut off the anchors and let them sink in the sea, and at the same time they untied the ropes that held the steering oars. Then they raised the sail at the front of the ship so that the wind would blow the ship forward, and we headed for shore.41But the ship hit a sandbank and went aground; the front part of the ship got stuck and could not move, while the back part was being broken to pieces by the violence of the waves.
42The soldiers made a plan to kill all the prisoners, in order to keep them from swimming ashore and escaping.43But the army officer wanted to save Paul, so he stopped them from doing this. Instead, he ordered everyone who could swim to jump overboard first and swim ashore;44the rest were to follow, holding on to the planks or to some broken pieces of the ship. And this was how we all got safely ashore.
1When we were safely ashore, we learned that the island was called Malta.2The natives there were very friendly to us. It had started to rain and was cold, so they built a fire and made us all welcome.3Paul gathered up a bundle of sticks and was putting them on the fire when a snake came out on account of the heat and fastened itself to his hand.4The natives saw the snake hanging on Paul's hand and said to one another, “This man must be a murderer, but Fate will not let him live, even though he escaped from the sea.”5But Paul shook the snake off into the fire without being harmed at all.6They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after waiting for a long time and not seeing anything unusual happening to him, they changed their minds and said, “He is a god!”
7Not far from that place were some fields that belonged to Publius, the chief of the island. He welcomed us kindly and for three days we were his guests.8Publius' father was in bed, sick with fever and dysentery. Paul went into his room, prayed, placed his hands on him, and healed him.9When this happened, all the other sick people on the island came and were healed.10They gave us many gifts, and when we sailed, they put on board what we needed for the voyage.
11After three months we sailed away on a ship from Alexandria, called “The Twin Gods,” which had spent the winter in the island.12We arrived in the city of Syracuse and stayed there for three days.13From there we sailed on and arrived in the city of Rhegium. The next day a wind began to blow from the south, and in two days we came to the town of Puteoli.14We found some believers there who asked us to stay with them a week. And so we came to Rome.15The believers in Rome heard about us and came as far as the towns of Market of Appius and Three Inns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and was greatly encouraged.
Why did the soldiers want to kill all the prisoners? What did the army officer do? How did everyone arrive ashore? Why did the natives think Paul was a god? How did Publius treat the shipwrecked survivors? What does today’s reading teach about hospitality?
Lord God, you are my anchor and place of safety. When the storms of life come my way, I know that I can place my trust and hope in you. Guide me this day in all I do and say. Amen.
Those traveling by sea
Acts 28:16-31: Paul arrives in Rome and is put under house arrest.