You Who Fear God, Listen
April 2, 2009 • By Ed Wrather
Paul advised them, 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.” Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul. - Acts 27:9c-11 NKJV.
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 27:21 NKJV.
And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.” Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen.” - Acts 13:15-16 NKJV.
A woman in Wisconsin following the directions provided by her GPS unit traveled down a road, which eventually became a snowmachine trail, and became stuck in the snow. By the time the woman was convinced she was on the wrong road it was too late, and because of the 18 inches of snow she could not turn around. She did have a cell phone and was able to call for help. Sheriff’s deputy Keith Svoboda said these very profound words about the GPS unit, “People shouldn't believe everything those things tell you.” This is the second story that I have read about someone being misled by their GPS navigational unit. Probably there have been many others that did not result in the vehicle becoming disabled. The first story was about a van in England turning onto a highway, which was actually a small river.
In Acts 27, the apostle Paul has appealed to Caesar and is being taken in chains to Rome. Paul is fasting and praying and God has revealed to him a disaster that is ahead for the ship, and for all those aboard the ship. He tries to warn the Centurion who is the Roman officer in charge. However, the Centurion did not listen to this word from God; instead he listened to the captain of the ship and to the owner of the ship. The captain and the owner did not want to waste time waiting for a storm to blow by because it would cost them money to delay. However, after the storm had blown the ship around for several days, and they all feared for their lives they finally did listen to Paul. Because the centurion, the captain, and the owner finally listened to Paul; God saved the lives of all those onboard. This was quite a storm lasting for 14 days before the ship finally broke apart and sank when it ran aground.
The apostle Paul when he spoke before the synagogue stood and said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen.” “You who fear God.” Do you fear God, do you reverence God, do you respect God? Do you really? If your life were to be examined by a jury of your peers would they determine that by the way you have lived your life you really do fear, reverence, and respect God? In other words, if you were on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?
We are free to choose the direction we want to travel in this life. God has given us the spiritual freedom of choice. Because of this we often listen to and follow the wrong directions. It was vital for all those onboard the ship with Paul to heed his warning and directions. It is no less vital, it is of no less importance to us today to follow God’s directions for our lives. If you are traveling down a snowmachine path, and the snow keeps getting higher and higher maybe it is time to get some new directions.