In the Tempest (Euroclydon)

Acts 27:9–21 (NKJV)

9 Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.” 11 Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul. 12 And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there.

Acts 27:9-12
Fair Havens to Malta

Paul, either prophetically or practically, felt that the journey from this point on would be treacherous, possibly costing the sailors and the passengers their lives. The ship’s crew, however, felt that they must press on and that they would be okay. The centurion, in charge of Paul’s custody, believed the crew above Paul, and they journeyed on.

13 When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete. 14 But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon. 15 So when the ship was caught, and could not head into the wind, we let her drive. 16 And running under the shelter of an island called Clauda, we secured the skiff with difficulty. 17 When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on the Syrtis Sands, they struck sail and so were driven. 18 And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. 19 On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands. 20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.
21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss.

Acts 27:13-21

The ship set sail for Phoenix, just up the coastline from Fair Havens, to reach a better place to settle for the winter. However, they almost immediately ran into a great storm, similar to what Americans would call a Nor’easter, almost hurricane strength, that drove them out to sea. This storm, Euroclydon, was often sudden and extreme, with little warning and great destructive power. They tried to find shelter by an island called Clauda off the coast of Crete, but could not stay there long. As they were driven toward the northern coast of Africa, and faced possibly sand bars that would crush their hull, they raised the sails and were driven west. They threw much of their provisions, and eventually their tackle. overboard to lighten the ship that they might stay above water. They nearly gave up hope. Then Paul stood up and basically said, “I told you so! You should have listened to me.”

I am sure this assertion was of little comfort to the men on the ship. However, the truth remains that it is not always the experts that know what one must do. Sometimes the prophet needs to be heard and heeded. In this case, they could have avoided a terrible disaster. However, most people trust conventional wisdom above a voice from God. In turbulent times, use common sense, but do not ignore the voices that speak for God, either. He will always lead you right. One will see that God still took care of this ship in spite of their ignoring His warning. But, they could have avoided danger and great loss had they listened.

Artwork from

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