King Agrippa was impressed with Paul. After hearing Paul’s message, he said to Governor Festus, “This man could have been set free, if he ha not appealed to Caesar” (26:32). But appeal to Caesar he had, so Paul must be sent to Rome. It was on the way to Rome by sea that the storm struck.
What a storm it was! The “Northeaster” they called it, winds of hurricane force creating massive waves, driving the ship before it. Totally out of control, totally chaotic. The ship took such a beating that the sailors actually tried to hold it together by tying ropes under and around the hull (a feat which must have taken courage and skill). They threw everything off the ship that wasn’t essential to life, including the ship’s tackle. But the storm raged on, and the ship continued to disintegrate. After a few days without seeing either the sun or the stars, Luke tells us they had given up hope of life itself – all with the exception of Paul, that is.
Paul stands before them on the rolling ship, his “congregation” weary, emaciated, and terrified, and has the temerity to say, “keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost” (27:22). How did he know? Because an angel told him.
You can be sure there were a few cynics in that distraught crew who wandered about Paul’s sanity, and yet, he was so confident, so sure. And so right!
Later, as the 276-crew members, soldiers, and prisoners dried themselves off on the island of Malta, they had time to reflect on the remarkable faith of that man, Paul. Their ropes had done nothing to stabilize the ship, for it had been lost. But Paul’s faith had proven true – not one man was lost. It had wrapped them more securely than any ropes could have done. Committed faith will save you from the storm. Have faith in God.