The following thoughts are not original with me. I heard it from another preacher, teacher, and apply my own thoughts and words to it; with the exception of the verses of Scripture.
Avoiding tragedy is not always possible, but if we would keep our eyes open, and our ears attentive we could see the way God is working, and hear His words of warning.
If we, like the men on board, the captain of the ship as well as the crew, with Paul ignore the warning, we have put ourselves in great danger. The danger these had gotten into was life threatening to all on board the ship. Paul was on his way to stand trial in Rome, and he was going there by ship through the Med.
There are some great spiritual, as well as practical truths we can learn from these verses in chapter 27, and the journey by ship through the Med Sea.
“Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, and said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west. And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.” Acts 27:9-14 (KJV)
From verse 9 we can learn that there is danger in being impatient. Impatience can definitely endanger life. As Christians it shows a lack of trust and unbelief in God’s providence, and His knowing what is best for His children.
See Proverbs 3:5-6 and Isaiah 40:31
Secondly we can learn that not all expert advice is godly or right (Acts 27:11). The “Expert” may know the natural, but not the supernatural power of God. The centurion was being a good soldier, and trusted the ship master and the owner, but did not believe the servant of God. Check out 1 Corinthians 1:20-21. Many an expert has been wrong. God is never wrong. See Luke 5:3-6.
Third, the places we may see of no comfort, may be a place of refuge (v. 12). Comfort may be a peril of its own. We Christians, especially in the U. S. of A. are addicted to our comforts. Comforts can draw us away from our faith which must be continually growing. Killing our peace of heart and mind. We must learn to be content with however God blesses us. Read 1 Timothy 6:6-10.
Fourth, following majority opinion may not be the direction God would have us take (v. 12). Sometimes, if there is even one who is in disagreement; that one individual may be the one who is being led by the Spirit of God. To make life changing decisions, even life saving decisions, and for growth, there should be “All in one accord” within the body of Christ (Acts 2:1).
Fifth, favorable circumstances may be a sign of worse to come (v. 13). Such times are times to be aware, and alert to other possibilities. There are times to remain where we are; to stay put and not weigh anchor. We must learn that judging by circumstances; whether good or bad can be disastrous. Read 2 Corinthians 6:1-10.
Sixth, the surest way to avoid shipwreck (v. 10). Listen to God’s word, from God’s messenger. Pay attention to the signs. Delays in schedule. Some of these may be “Closed doors”. Remember that God knows what is best.
Though the ship master and owner did not listen to Paul, God’s servant, they made it to safety by the grace and providence of Almighty God. The ship wrecked, but all were saved alive, by following the direction the apostle Paul gave through the Spirit of God (vv. 31, 43, 44). Blessed be the name of the Lord.