Tuesday, February 20

Why listen to him?

Scripture: Numbers 7, Psalm 23, Acts 27

Acts 27:9-10 By now much time had passed, and the voyage was already dangerous. Since the Fast was already over, Paul gave his advice 10 and told them, “Men, I can see that this voyage is headed toward damage and heavy loss, not only of the cargo and the ship but also of our lives.”

Observation

Not surprisingly, the centurion paid attention to the captain and owner of the ship, not Paul’s advice.  The captain and owner had good reasons for sailing on.  The port was small and exposed, and the town of Lasea was small and wouldn’t offer much in the way of accommodations for over 200 of them.  It made sense to sail for Phoenix, only 40 miles away, which had a better port and larger city.

After being lost in the storm for many days, Paul said, “You men should have followed my advice not to sail from Crete and sustain this damage and loss.”

What’s going on here?  Why would Paul expect the centurion to listen to him, and why be an “I told you so?”  Paul isn’t being annoying—he is establishing credibility.  Luke tells the story to show how Paul earned the trust and the ear of the leaders on the ship—something that eventually saved all their lives.

Application

God may choose to speak through unexpected people.  God was speaking through Paul, warning the ship’s leaders not to sail.  But Paul was no sailor, not a captain or a ship owner—he was a prisoner being transported to his trial.  Why listen to him?  Because he was a prophet—he spoke for the Lord.

It’s easy to dismiss some people.  “You are no expert.  You don’t know what you’re talking about.”  But be careful.  God chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27-28).  Don’t dismiss too quickly; discern whether God may be speaking.

Prayer: Lord, I want to be a good listener, to You first and to others.  Help me to hear You when You speak through others.