We know from the text that Luke was with Paul on the trip to Rome; no one else who might have been with Paul on the voyage is named in the text. In the first 12 verses, Luke tells us where they stopped, and of unfavorable winds that caused delay upon delay in their progress. As you read this, you might wonder why the weather was so uncooperative when they were on a mission from God to get Paul to Rome, for surely God could calm things down if He wanted to. Of course, another possibility would be that there was another force in play, a force that did not want Paul in Rome to accomplish God’s will for him there, a force that might try to use the weather as a hindrance to his progress.
As for me, I think there was quite a struggle going on behind the scenes.
In 27:13 ff. Luke tells us of a great storm that came up, giving us details that make it clear that this was no ordinary storm, as it raged day after day for 2 weeks. The sailors did all they could do to keep the ship afloat, but they began to lose heart; everyone feared that they would die.
But they would not die.
After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” (27:21-26)
God’s will for Paul to appear before Caesar would not be deterred by a storm, for God’s will is going to be done on this earth. Yes, His will might be opposed by men or by the spiritual forces of darkness, but they will never keep it from being done. In fact, the opposition of the Evil One may well provide an additional opportunity for God’s will to be done; just imagine the impact this statement of Paul’s would have when all of the men on the ship survived this mammoth storm in spite of the shipwreck that we will read about next time!