February 18, 2001
There is a close analogy between the course of a man’s
life through this world from birth to the grave and the
progress of a ship from port to port.
Some leave little evidence, some as wide a wake as
the Exxon Valdez with garbage and rubbish that
characterized a man’s life.
At various times in life there may be life threatening
situations, but for sure from start to finish there are
problems in life.
“Man that is born of a woman is of few days and
full of trouble” Job 14:1
“Yet man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly
upward” Job 5:7
Too often distracted by episodes in our lives,
passing circumstances, shifting situations, the
immediate needs of the day blind our horizons,
the immediate seems final or at least shuts
out the destination.
It takes a fixed will, purpose, wisdom, skill and
resolution to deal with the hindrances, obstacles,
changes, chances, disturbances & disappointments
of life. Hopefully, there is a pleasant start, cheering
incidents, promises of a prosperous journey but
too often they are succeeded by dull delays,
tedious, distracting experiences
We have to deal with events not taken into
We have hope of a straight and speedy course
but often we are thwarted by the folly and
incompetence of ourselves and others.
By and by we think we see improvement,
suddenly things take a turn for the worse, our
boat whether freighted with earthly schemes or
heavenly hopes, is imminently in danger of shipwreck.
Happy is he who at such times lays hold of the promises
of God, cleaves to the Lord Jesus & perseveres unto
Hebrews 6:18-20 4:15-16
v. 1 - “it was determined that we should sail”
v. 2 - “entering into a ship” “we launched”
“meaning to sail”
v. 3 - “we touched” - liberty, friends, refreshment.
v. 4 - “the winds were contrary” - forced us to run
north instead of west.
“O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in
himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct
his steps” - Jer. 10:23
Jesus was moved with compassion because the
people were as a sheep not having a shepherd. Mark 6:34
The Bible is truly a road map to guide us. The Holy Spirit’s
function is to guide us unto all truth.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine
own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He
shall direct thy paths.”
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and
all these things shall be added unto thee.”
v. 7 - “the wind not suffering us” “sailed slowly” “many days”
- with difficulty, forced to go below Crete.
v. 8 - “hardly passing it” - with difficulty, coasting along,
sheltered but with no windpower.
“the fair havens” - utopian, la-la land, only in dreams
except for Heaven, our rest.
Ex. of Israel going to Canaan - 40 years
v. 9 - “much time was spent” “sailing was now dangerous”
Ps. 90:9 “We spend our years as a tale that is told”
Only one life, will soon be past, only what’s done for
Christ will last!
Pictures of Voyage of Life as an Illustration - one missing
Self Interpreting Bible - one missing - symbol of our
lives - something missing apart from God.
v. 10 - “this voyage will be with hurt & much damage”
“also of our lives” - skinned knees, whiplashes etc.
but not death.
v. 11 - The centurion believed the master & owner of the
ship more than Paul.
World vs. the Spirit
v. 12 - “the haven was not commodious to winter in”
the world not all that it is cranked up to be.
v. 13 - “When the south winds blew softly, supposing to
obtain their purpose”
Good omen. “Loosing thence”
v. 14 - “But not long after” “there arose a tempestuous
wind called Euroclydon” - typonos - root word of
Combination of two words referring to the east wind
and the north wind.
Psalm 107:23-32 Mark 4:35-41
v. 15 - “caught, could not bear up, we let her drive”
Hurried along by the wind without will or
choice of our own.
v. 16 - “had much work to come by” - safety boat, let
down but brought back up.
Discovery Channel - ship out in the ocean - no survivors
a mystery, (took a swim, someone
forgot to let down the ladder)
v. 17 - “they used helps” “fearing they would fall into
the quicksands” “strake said” “were driven”
“lowered the gear”
Sands of Northern Africa - 24 more hours like this &
they would be there.
v. 18 - “being exceedingly tossed with a tempest”
“the next day they lightened the ship”
Started making choices as to what is & what is not
v. 19 - “cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship”
Some think it had to do with spar & mast, some
furniture and bedding.
Their sacrifices were great but under pressing danger.
The wind blowing, waves coming over the sides, water
filling the ship. At this moment the relative value of things
undergoes a great change - formerly things thought precious
and acquired at great cost, with much labor of which they
had hopes of making great gain, all of a sudden loses value
in their eyes.
Satan, the accuser of the brethren before God, had it right
when of Job, he remarked to God “Skin for skin, yea, all
that a man hath will he give for his life” Job 2:4
The value of a soul, a life, my life!
v. 20 - “neither sun nor stars in many days appeared”
“all hope ...taken away”
Depression, lack of navigational system - God in His
goodness providing the North Star.
Things necessary to comforts ruthlessly destroyed.
v. 21 - Loss of appetite, terror/discomfort/sea sickness/
danger/labor/difficulty of cooking/unpalateableness
Weak from lack of nourishment.
“have gained this harm & loss” - fruit of their own conduct
v. 22 - Good news - “there shall be no loss of any man’s life”
“but loss of ship” - I Corinthians 3:13-15
vs. 23-26 - Paul’s testimony - in prosperity & self-confidence
they had rejected Paul’s advice but listen to
him at death’s door.
Isaiah 26:6-9 Luke 1:45
v. 27 - Fourteen days of being driven up & down Adria
“deemed” - surmised, guessed, conjectured -
a bad way to go through life.
v. 29 - “fearing, cast four anchors out, wished for the day”
v. 30 - “under color as though they would have cast out
anchors out of the foreship” - deception, desert,
v. 35 - “took bread, gave thanks to God in presence of
v. 36 - “then were they all of good cheer”
v. 37 - 276 people on board
v. 38 - More choices - “lightened the ship casting the wheat
into the sea”
End of the Road - “saved so as by fire” -
Their lives were more important that the cargo - there is
a time when the things of this world-wealth, or reputation
or the world’s friendship, or certain habits & opinions- are
of supreme importance. By & by some conjuncture arises
in which you have to choose between them and the salvation
of your soul. There is a struggle at first and an unwillingness
to part with them. But as the things of God rise in their
immensity before your eyes, it becomes clear that sacrifice
must be made and the choice is made.
But it often happens that the whole sacrifice is not made at
once. Some lighter loss is sustained at first, and the lightened
soul moves easier on the spiritual way for a while. But then
some new danger arises. This time it is the sacrifice of the
man himself, some part as it were of his very being, that has
to be made. The right hand has to be cut off, the right eye
plucked out if he would enter life.
He well knows that the things that are seen are temporal,
but the things that are not seen are eternal; and so he
cheerfully lays down his life on earth that he may not
make shipwreck of eternity.
The apostle Paul was led to suffer loss upon loss, and to
heap labor upon labor, and to endure affliction upon affliction,
till from being the prisoner of the Lord, he became the faithful
martyr of Jesus Christ and laid down his very life in sure
anticipation of receiving the crown of righteousness at
the hand of a righteous Judge, when he should plant his foot
triumphant upon the shore of eternal life.
II Tim. 4:6-8
Example of Levi in Luke 5:27-28
v. 40 - Took up anchors and committed themselves to the sea.
v. 41 - “hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves”
v. 44 - “it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land”
John 6:39-40 II Cor. 4:14-15 II Tim. 1:12
To come to the end of life’s way and say “He hath done all
things well” - Mark 7:37
Not being astounded - “Why should it be thought a thing
incredible that God should raise the dead?”