The Apostle Paul: Options.

9 “Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” 11 But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. 12 And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.” (Acts 27:9–12 (ESV)

Docking at Fair Havens on the island of Crete for some time, Paul became concerned because of the lateness of the year. Luke remarked that even the Jewish Fast was over. This mention of the Fast refers the reader the Day of Atonement. It was the only annual Jewish festival which required fasting. It was then, and remains today, observed either in late September or up till mid-October. It was at this time of the year when weather on the Mediterranean became unpredictable and sea travel dangerous.

Remaining at Fair Havens for the winter was not advisable because its bays were open to the sea, which made ships vulnerable to the effects of upcoming winter storms. Consequently, it was dangerous to either stay or to sail.    

Regarding the matter of continuing the journey, Paul stated, ““Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” However, the advice from a prisoner was not viewed with much respect or consideration. Luke recorded that the centurion paid more attention to the captain and the owner of the ship than to the Apostle Paul.

Therefore, the majority opinion was to set sail for the Cretan Harbor called Phoenix. It was 40 miles to the west of Fair Havens. The captain’s intention was to sail for Phoenix and spend the winter there.

There are times in our lives when instead of action, it is best to be still and know that the LORD is God (Psalm 46:10) and to rest and wait upon Him. It is not always easy to do, but it is always the wisest thing to do.

More to come. Have a blessed day in the LORD.

Soli deo Gloria!

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