The Seduction of the South Wind
Acts 27:13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained [their] purpose, loosing [thence], they sailed close by Crete.
Intro: In this story, Paul is on his way to Rome. The last verse of chapter 26 tells us that because he had appealed to Caesar, Agrippa sends him to testify before the Roman Emperor. The Apostle Paul was arrested in chapter 21 for preaching. He had been arrested on false charges (21:28) and had already made his case before the Sanhedrin, before Felix, before Festus, and then Agrippa. The time that has transpired has already been over two years (24:27). So Paul has been a prisoner, arrested under false pretenses; bound for no reason (25:24-27).
Note Festus’ words to describe Paul’s innocence:
- vs. 25 he had committed nothing worthy of death…
- vs. 26 Of whom I have no certain thing to write…that I might have something to write…
- vs. 27 For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes [laid] against him.
Then we get to chapter 27, Paul is placed on a ship to Italy. Their intended route was to sail by the coasts of Asia. They stopped at the port city of Sidon, and the centurion, Julius was courteous enough to let Paul enjoy some much needed fellowship with his friends and to refresh himself. They left and sailed south under the island of Cyprus because of the bad weather. When they arrived at the city of Lycia, the centurion, Julius found a ship of Alexandria that was headed to Italy. They got on that ship, and after many days of slow sailing, they sailed under the island of Crete, went past it and put in at a port called “the fair havens” near to the city of Lasea.
A. Paul’s Preaching – vs. 9 …Paul admonished them
Notice where they were – a place called “the fair havens” which means “goodly ports”
They were in a good place because they had a preacher that had enough backbone to admonish them!!
Time was running out, sailing was now dangerous, but there was a preacher there that would PREACH!!!!
B. Paul’s Perception – vs. 10 …I perceive…
It’s amazing how much perception God’s man can have when the sailing is dangerous, and time is well spent.
His perception was not for his benefit, but for theirs.
He was concerned about them and their life.
C. Paul’s Prediction – vs. 10 – …I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage
1. He predicted damage to their Lading – vs. 10 a picture of what was valuable to them
2. He predicted damage to their Lives – vs. 10
This kind of preaching has never been very well received.
People like positive preaching – preaching that tells them that everything is going to be OK.
God’s men have never been popular in their preaching, their perception or in their predictions!!
- Isaiah 30:9, 10 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
NEVERTHELESS – VERSE 11 This word has proven to be a nightmare for many a preacher and many a Christian!!!
They didn’t listen to Paul – instead, they believed the master and the owner of the ship.
This verse set the stage for a series of events that match the lives of many a church member today!!!
What was the reason for their rejection of Paul’s words in verse 11??
The answer is in verse 12 – the haven was not commodious to winter in
- Commodious is the Greek word – aneuthetos– which means CONVENIENT OR TO FIT
- They preferred to winter in a haven near Crete (means fleshy)
- It lieth toward the south west and the north west??? They wanted it both ways!!
What they didn’t know was that there was a wind brewing in the south. It was headed their way, and with it a seductive and luring quality that would forever change their life.
The South Wind was seductive; deceitful; a tool of Satan to get them to make some horrible decisions…
I. Seductive in its Pleasure
- vs. 13 – it blew softly
This word softly literally means it “blew under”, meaning it had a lifting, liberating effect.
When this wind started blowing, it made them feel like they were supported and encouraged.
This wind was actually helping them out; making them able to relax and enjoy themselves.
- Hebrews 11:25 …enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
II. Seductive in its Purpose
- Vs. 13 supposing that they had obtained their purpose
The danger of this “south wind” is the ability it has on people to make them “suppose” that everything’s OK.
NOTE: You may have a plan, and a purpose, but so does Satan! That “south wind” that he sends your way is sent to thwart and confuse your plans and dreams.
Satan has a purpose; it is not a secret.
- John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:
It made them feel that they were right, and that the preacher was wrong.
It confirmed what they had wanted to do all along.
It is bad when people exchange the facts for suppositions!!
III. Seductive in its Parameters
- Vs. loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.
One of the first signs that the “south wind” is blowing your way is you start to “loose” some things!
They literally pulled up anchor!!
The word “loosing” means “to take off or take away what is attached”
The “south wind” demand liberty, freedom, no authority and no accountability.
The “south wind” demands that you pull up the anchors, loosen your ropes, and just let go!
NOTE: The word “Crete” literally means “fleshy”!
It’s a guarantee – you loosen up, and pull up your anchors, you will sail VERY CLOSE to the flesh!!
IV. Seductive in its Power
- vs. 14 …there arose against it a tempestuous wind called Euroclydon.
The word “Euroclydon” means “a violent agitation”
The “soft south wind” was no longer delightful; the fun was over; the game was up; it was PAYDAY!!
Sin’s chickens had come home to roost!!
It was “caught” – vs. 15. That means “to seize by force and carry away”
there’s nothing more frightening than to be “out of control” and be carried away by the results of your choices.
They were in control when they were arguing with God’s man!
They were in control when they were enjoying the soft south wind!
They were in control when they pulled up their anchor and sailed close by Crete!
But “NOT LONG AFTER” (vs. 14) they couldn’t do anything about where their choices had taken them!
The ship and its people “could not bear up” into the wind.
They couldn’t fight it, or overcome it.
The phrase “could not bear up” literally means that they could not look at it
The strength of the wind robbed them of any ability to do anything about it.
They literally had to turn their head and wait for the outcome!
In verse 15 and 16, they had no choice but to “let her drive”.
V. Seductive in its Price
– verse 17 “…We had much work to come by the boat:”
They had to let the wind have its way and let the direction they had chosen play itself out.
The result was it ran under a certain island called Claudia.
The name Claudia means “lame”.
Their choices left them immobile and helpless! (see verse 17 – they had to use helps)
My daddy used to say it like this using a farming; garden term: “You are going to have one hard row to hoe!”
Sin will take you farther than you want to go,
Slowly, but wholly, taking control,
Sin will leave you longer than you want to stay,
Sin will cost you far more than you want to pay.
A. It Cost them their Choices – vs. 17
“Strake sail” means they let their sails down and instead of being able to go where they wanted, they were driven.
They were not able to choose their direction; they were pushed, shoved, driven against their will.
Satan will always rob you of your choices; he will drive you!!
B. It Cost them their Cargo – vs. 18 – they lightened the ship
Just like the man of God predicted, they lost everything that they held dear.
All their belongings, their valuables, their food, their clothing, everything was tossed overboard.
Vs. 19 – the “tackling of the ship” was essentially everything that made that ship serviceable
It’s furniture, the apparatus, the rigging, everything.
This ship was virtually worthless – it was nothing more than a floating prison.
C. It Cost them their Compass – no sun nor stars in many days in many days appeared…all hope was taken away
What started out as a DELIGHTFUL south wind has become a DEPRESSING tempestuous wind!!
What first appeared to be something that they thought had “obtained their purpose” had robbed them of all purpose!!
NO LIGHT – for many days; they wandered in darkness because they had rejected the light of the man of God’s warning.
CONCLUSION: Their salvation came in verse 21. God sent a preacher with a message from God.
There was no hope for the ship, but there was hope for them – if they would listen and do what God said!!
NOTE: In verse 11, the centurion BELIEVED THE MASTER; in verse 25, Paul said, I BELIEVE GOD!!
As a pastor; a preacher; it is imperative that in spite of the storms and the devastation, we MUST BELIEVE!!
No matter how much the devil has wrecked and ruined your life, there is always mercy and salvation if you will JUST BELIEVE GOD!!!!