ImmerseMessiah NLT - Flipbook - Page 120
sea. The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and
let it run before the gale.
We sailed along the sheltered side of a small island named Cauda, where
with great difficulty we hoisted aboard the lifeboat being towed behind us.
Then the sailors bound ropes around the hull of the ship to strengthen it.
They were afraid of being driven across to the sandbars of Syrtis off the
African coast, so they lowered the sea anchor to slow the ship and were
driven before the wind.
The next day, as gale-force winds continued to batter the ship, the crew
began throwing the cargo overboard. The following day they even took
some of the ship’s gear and threw it overboard. The terrible storm raged for
many days, blotting out the sun and the stars, until at last all hope was gone.
No one had eaten for a long time. Finally, Paul called the crew together
and said, “Men, you should have listened to me in the first place and not
left Crete. You would have avoided all this damage and loss. But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down.
For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve
stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely
stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted
safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It
will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island.”
About midnight on the fourteenth night of the storm, as we were being
driven across the Sea of Adria, the sailors sensed land was near. They
dropped a weighted line and found that the water was 120 feet deep. But
a little later they measured again and found it was only 90 feet deep. At
this rate they were afraid we would soon be driven against the rocks along
the shore, so they threw out four anchors from the back of the ship and
prayed for daylight.
Then the sailors tried to abandon the ship; they lowered the lifeboat
as though they were going to put out anchors from the front of the ship.
But Paul said to the commanding officer and the soldiers, “You will all die
unless the sailors stay aboard.” So the soldiers cut the ropes to the lifeboat
and let it drift away.
Just as day was dawning, Paul urged everyone to eat. “You have been so
worried that you haven’t touched food for two weeks,” he said. “Please eat
something now for your own good. For not a hair of your heads will perish.” Then he took some bread, gave thanks to God before them all, and
broke off a piece and ate it. Then everyone was encouraged and began to
eat—all 276 of us who were on board. After eating, the crew lightened the
ship further by throwing the cargo of wheat overboard.
When morning dawned, they didn’t recognize the coastline, but they
saw a bay with a beach and wondered if they could get to shore by running