Sailing from Malta to Rome (Acts 28:11-16)

Three Months, Three Days, Three Taverns

Paul thanked God and was encouraged.  Acts 28:15

Paul thanked God and was encouraged.  Acts 28:15 (Acts 28:11-16)

After three months on tha island of Malta, Saul Paul and tha crew put out ter sea on ah ship from Alexandria. On tha bow of this vessel be tha figure-heads of tha twin gods Castor and Pollux. Think on this a wee little bit: Castor and Pollux whar believed ter be both both mortal and divine. Tha Sun of Skipper be both mortal, ah man, and divine, tha Sun of Skipper. So right off tha counterfeit of tha Messiah, tha antichrist, be tha very gods leading tha crew.

Now ya might think that after losing thar ship, cargo, and near ’bout thar lives, tha crew would ‘ave learned thar lesson and denounced such false gods. But when ya follow tha dark hearts of tha Devil and tha false security found in his lies, gaining a bit of discernment be ah rare thing. Folks do tha same ter day. When they get in ter a fix, they call on Skip ter bail ’em out. Once he does and things be square and ship shape, they go right back ter thar wicked way of thinking. 

With tha tiny god-sons of Zeus as thar guardians, and Saul Paul praying, tha crew sailed first ter Syracuse. Thar they remained three days. From thar they sailed ter Rhegium, then on ter Puteoli whar some brothers met Saul Paul and his mates. At tha sight of friendly faces, Saul Paul made it his task ter spend ah week with ’em.

When some brothers from Rome learned that Saul Paul be near, they trekked down tha coast ter tha Forum of Appius and Three Taverns ter meet up. At tha sight of these brothers from Rome, and knowing his long voyage be near ’bout complete, Saul Paul thanked God and whar encouraged and fer good reason.

Fer ah good long while Saul Paul wanted ter reach Rome. At every stop he had preached ter all who would listen how Skipper sent his Sun ter save all folks. Ah good many refused ter head this good spiel, but them who did received back thar life. They gained entrance in ter tha Kingdom of Skipper. In all ways at all times Saul Paul ne’er wavered from his goal of making his case that tah Sun be tha Messiah. Now, at last, Saul Paul be in tha very city whar tha most powerful man on earth lived. If Skip allowed, Saul Paul would present tha good spiel ter Caesar.

When he reached Rome, Saul Paul whar allowed ter live by himself with only a soldier ter guard him. Safe at last, he rested. He wrote letters of encouragement ter tha churches he helped form. He wrote words of admonishment ter tha churches. He wrote ter tha leaders of tha churches with instructions fer how ter shepherd tha flock. He also prepared ter make his case ter Caesar that tha Sun, who being in his very nature Skipper himself, died on a Roman cross so that Caesar could be saved from his sins.

Ah long time ago a feller by tha name of Jabez prayed: “Oh, Lord, bless me indeed. Enlarge my territory. May your hand be with me. May you keep me from evil. May I not cause pain.” And Skipper granted Jabez his request. 

May this be our prayer as well, that Skipper would bless us indeed. That he would enlarge our territory fer him. That his hand would be upon us. That his Holy Ghost of Truth would keep us from evil. That our words and deeds might not cause pain ter others. This was Saul Paul’s goal from tha get go. Though his voyage ter Rome be one filled with perils and persecution, he reached his destination. 

Make it yer task to stick ter tha course Skip plots fer ya. By doing so, ya may jest find them ya love most be saved cause of yer persistence. 

 

Tha Rest of tha Sick on tha Island Came and Whar Cured (Acts 28:7-10)

When Disaster Seemed Likely, Expect Deliverance

Tha Rest of tha Sick on tha Island Came and Whar Cured

When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. Acts 28:9  (Acts 28:7-10)

On tha island whar tha crew regrouped from thar disastrous voyage, thar whar an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, tha chief official of tha island.

He welcomed Saul Paul, Luke, and some others in ter his home and showed ’em generous hospitality fer three days. As ya well know, fish and visitors stink after three days, so when ya get an invite ter rest in ah feller’s home, make it yer task ter be on yer way by tha forth day.

Now it may be that hospitality whar not tha only reason Publius wanted Saul Paul ter visit. Seems Publius’ pop lay sick in bed, suffering from fever and a bad case of tha trots. Paul went in ter check and after praying over tha sickly feller, laid on hands. At that moment, through his mighty power, tha Sun healed Pop Publius.

When this happened, tha rest of tha sick on tha island came and whar cured.

We doth not know how this healing took place. Whar all cured at tha same time Pop Publius whar healed? Did Saul Paul lay on hands and pray over each one? Did he simply spake a word and all whar healed?

All we know is this: when it came time ter sail, Publius and others on tha island furnished ’em with all tha supplies they needed. Such be tha gratitude the islanders felt fer Skip’s presence and power.

When ya consider tha danger tha crew faced when tha ship left Fair Havens . . . when ya consider tha 276 souls in peril of going down ter Davy Jones . . . when ya consider tha number of folks on that island who whar healed . . . and when ya consider Saul Paul’s faith in Skip and his Sun, we kin conclude that in all ways and at all times Skipper whar at tha helm of that vessel. Though disaster seemed likely, deliverance came due ter Saul Paul’s faith in Skipper’s providential protection and mercy

When facing impossible odds and in desperate need fer an improbable outcome, place tha voyage in tha hands of Skipper. Let him guide ya. Listen ter his voice. Follow his nudging. Obey his commands. Might very well be that 276 and more ‘ill be saved and healed —and possibly ah great many more saved through tha Sun’s glorious death and resurrection.

Landfall, Man’s Fall (Acts 28:1-6)

Only Tha Sun Kin Take It Away tha Veil of Dullness

Landfall, Man's Fall

The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god. Acts 28:6 (Acts 28:1-6)

Once Saul Paul and all made landfall and safely reached tha beach, they found out that tha islanders whar unusually kind ter ’em. Because it whar raining and cold, tha islanders built ah fire and welcomed tha crew. Saul Paul went about gathering ah pile of brushwood fer tha fire, but as he done so ah viper, driven out by tha heat, fastened itself on his hand.

Ah bite from such ah viper be normally more severe than from other venomous snakes in that part of tha world and very painful. It generally be thought that around 5% of all untreated bites leads ter an excruciating death. This particular serpent be responsible for 90% of all cases of snakebite in and around Rome and it be tha only deadly snake in tha mountains north of Rome.

Think on this a wee little bit:

Ah serpent be responsible fer deceiving Eve in tha Garden and causing Man ter fall (Genesis 3:4–5, 22). Because of tha serpent’s deception and Adam and Eve’s disobedience, sin entered tha world.

When Moses doubted that Skipper had called him ter be tha one ter lead Skip’s people out of slavery, he asked fer proof that Skip would be with him. Skip instructed Moses ter toss his rod onto tha ground. When he done so, it became ah serpent. Like any reasonable feller, Moses high-tailed it from that place, only Skipper encouraged Moses ter come back and grasp tha serpent by the tail. As ya well know, only ah fool picks up ah snake by its tail, but Moses obeyed and tha serpent went back ter being only a rod (Exodus 4:1–5). Later Moses cast down his rod, agin. It turned in ter ah serpent and attacked Pharaoh’s magician’s serpents and ate ’em whole.

In the Book of Numbers, while Moses and Skip’s people wandered about in tha wilderness, they spoke agin Skipper and agin Moses. Tha crowd said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” So Skip sent venomous snakes among them. Tha serpents bit folks and many died. Then tha crowd came ter Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” After Moses prayed, Skip instructed Moses ter mount a bronze snake on ah pole. If folks looked at that bronze snake they would be healed (Numbers 21:4–9).

Years later tha Sun said, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up (John 3:14). In tha wilderness tha serpent’s bite brought death. Looking ter tha bronze serpent brought healing. When tha Sun came, he brought judgement upon all folks, fer he made plain that he were tha Chosen One, tha Messiah, tha author of all things and tha one who redeems us from our wicked, sinful ways. Looking ter tha Sun on tha cross brings healing ter all folks fer thar sins.

Looking away from tha Sun on tha cross, pretending he ne’er came, not caring that he came, brings judgement upon yer head and leaves ya bound fer eternal torment.

When tha islanders seen tha snake hanging from Saul Paul’s hand, they said ter each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.”

Right then Saul Paul shook off tha viper, flinging it in ter tha fire. Folks expected his hand ter swell up or fer him ter suddenly fall out dead; but after waiting ah good long time and seeing nothing unusual happen ter him, they changed their minds and said he was a god — which he whar not, but he knowed tha true God, Skipper, and that always be better than being a little man god.

Odd how folks see ah feller get bit by ah snake and ‘spect him ter fall over dead. Then these same folks see ah feller sin and doth not expect him ter suffer any ill affects. Such dull thinking kin only come due tha veil of tha old covenant which some still cling ter: ah covenant based on good works and keeping Skip’s rules, and sacrificing animals, but not sacrificing our own wants and will. With most folks this veil remains, fer only tha Sun kin take it away. And yet whenever any feller or lass turns to tha Sun, tha veil be lifted and they see plain tha glory of tha Sun and his Father (2 Corinthians 3:14-16).

What says ya? Will ya turn ter tha Sun ter day and allow him ter lift tha veil from yer face. Will ya ask ter see him clear fer tha savior he is? Some where, some place, some one is praying ya will.