Good Morning Siblings!
Today’s readings are Acts 27-28
Today we finish up the book of Acts!
I have brief notes today as I prepare for our next book. Enjoy the little break!
Acts 27:9 “The Fast” is referring to the Day of Atonement, a Biblical Feast in which most Jews fasted (and still do). However, the Bible doesn’t specifically tell us that we must fast but that is one way to carry out the instructions on the Day of Atonement (see Leviticus 23). This is telling us that the time period we are reading about is early fall because the Day of Atonement takes place sometime in September or October.. During this time, winds kick up and become more violent and storms are more likely so small ships don’t sail again until the spring. Even large ships avoid this time but it is especially perilous for small ones as you can imagine.
2 Corinthians 11:25 tells us that Paul had been shipwrecked three times in his life so we know that when he offers this advice, it is coming from the wisdom of experience. So when he advises them in Acts 27:10 not to make the trip at this time, he is speaking from the voice of experience. My favorite part of this passage is in Acts 27:21-
Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss.”
You know, the more you read Paul, the more relatable the guy is. ? He goes on to assure them that YHWH has told him they will all survive this. But I do love how he managed to wiggle that little “I told you so” in there. In him we so often get to see a battle of flesh vs spirit that is similar, to I think, what our own would be.
In Acts 27:28 We see them taking a sounding of the depth of the ocean. Being the curious rabbit that I am, I looked that up and they did that with a weight attached to the bottom of a rope, lowering it until it hit bottom to see how deep the water was. This may be common knowledge to y’all but it was an interesting tidbit to me.
Acts 27:33-38 Paul breaks bread – sometimes we try to read out own customs into the Bible so I want to let you know that the process we read about in this verse is customary to all Jews of the time when they begin a meal. They take a loaf of bread, say a traditional blessing, break off a piece, and pass it around. This is not them having a communion as some prefer to see it. Rather than try to put what we are familiar with into the Bible, we should try to make what is in the Bible familiar to us.
Acts 28:11 The twin “gods” on the front of the ship – with a little digging around Biblehub.com I found that these were Castor and Pollux, who were considered to be patron saints of sailors. No doubt many in their party felt better being on a ship with their likeness after having been shipwrecked on this island some three months earlier. It is ironic that YHWH saved their very lives and preserve them from so much only for them to find comfort in these manmade “saints”.
In Acts 28:15 and Acts 28:17 a more accurate translation of “brothers” would be “Brethren”, meaning those who are part of the same faith. My Bible has a footnote that reminds us this is speaking to both brothers and sisters. So just the general assembly of all believers present
Acts 28:23 I want to point out something here which has happened before in our reading but I’m not sure I pointed it out then. In this passage, we see that Paul is proving that Yeshua is the Messiah using only the “Books of Moses” (first five books of the Bible) and the books of the Prophets (Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc). Seriously y’all, we can prove He is the Messiah by the foundational Scriptures alone and nothing more if we need to. This is HUGE so make a mental note, underline it, highlight it, and pin it up somewhere special in your mind.
Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen. Acts 28:28
Remember, Paul is not starting a new religion here. YHWH is still YHWH, but now the door to be part of His family has been flung open wide. This is another key piece to the puzzle. Make note of it because we’ll be assembling them next week in our readings!
We finish up the book of Acts by being told that Paul lived there for two entire years at his own expense, welcoming all who came to him and teaching them the truth of the Way with boldness and no hindrance. He likely worked during this time as the thought of “no hindrance” and “at his own expense” tells us that he intentionally made sure he was beholden to no one. He did not even seek offerings but made his own way, his mind fully set to serve the Father – and the Father provided the means to earn a living and to teach in service of our great and mighty King!
Whole hearts. Open hands. Let us serve Him!
And with that, we have completed another book. Rak Chazak!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!