Peer Pressure Adds to the Present Peril

In Hillsdale, New Jersey, the superintendent of the Department of Public Works resigned, but with the understanding that he would be rehired for the job of garbage truck driver. He preferred the job with less pressure, he said. (Sunday School Times). … More

Pressure

After 14 days of drifting on the Mediterranean Sea the sailors realized that they were getting near land (v. 27). In the middle of the fourteenth night of the storm, the crewmen tested the waters and discovered that they were approaching land (v. 28). So in the darkness of the night they dropped their anchors and waited for daylight, hoping that they might make it to the shore safely (vv. 29-30).

Under this tremendous pressure some were about to jump overboard, and Paul warned them that they would not live unless they remained with the ship (vv. 31-32). These sailors decided to try to save their own lives at all costs. Paul, faced with the defection of the ship’s officers and crew, saw at once the obvious fact that without a crew the ship would never make it to shore. So he appealed to the centurion to not let them leave the scene. When Paul spoke the crew went back to their duties. What a picture of a man without God, without Christ, and without hope, at the mercy of forces in life that he cannot control, and wholly in the dark regarding his true position. At this point Paul encouraged them to eat something, since they had not eaten anything for the entire two-week ordeal (vv. 33-36).

There were 276 people on the ship, and after everyone had eaten, they threw the cargo of wheat into the sea to make the ship lighter (vv. 37-38). When morning came, and the ship’s crew saw a coast and decided to try to run the ship aground on the beach (v. 39). They cut the anchors loose and let them sink into the sea (v. 40). Next, they raised the sail at the front of the ship and let the wind carry the ship toward the beach. Soon the ship ran aground and began to break into pieces (v. 41). The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners so that they could not escape, but the centurion would not permit it. Instead it became every man for himself as they swam or rode planks to shore (v. 42). Thus just as Paul had predicted, all were saved, but the ship and its cargo were lost. It was truly the hand of God that had been controlling over every gale of wind and every wave (vv. 43-44).

Application

If I had been on board the ship with Paul, how do I think I would have felt at this point? Have I ever been tempted to bail out of a pressure situation? How can the principles of this account help me in situations I may face in my life?

Acts 27:27-44 (English Standard Version)


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