Monday, 4 February 2019

Against the odds in Malta

Sometimes when someone is on his or her last leg, so to speak, they give up.

What if they were on their last leg ...

and a prisoner ...

and  stranded amongst pagan heathens ...

and bitten by a snake ...

and being thought of as being a criminal that was pursued by their pagan gods ...

and ... no family, no transport, no daily amenities ....

Well, that's how it turned out for Paul in Malta.

Where is this place?

Malta is an island in the central Mediterranean, some 80 km south of Italy island. Malta is located just east of its sister islands of Gozo and Comino.

How did Paul get here?

In Paul traveled as a prisoner from Caesarea to Rome, this was where the ship ran aground because of a severe storm sailing towards Syracuse and Rhegium.

Why did they end up here?

Paul had warned the Roman Centurion Julius not to sail the Mediterranean during the dangerous months of September and October. Yet, Julius disregarded his advice and had the ship set sail for the western part of the island and the harbor of Phoenix (Acts 27:9 - 12).

A fierce storm drove the ship out to sea and it eventually drifted near the island of Malta where it ran aground.

All two hundred and seventy-six people were shipwrecked and miraculously arrived safely on Malta, fulfilling God's promise that no life would be lost (Acts 27:22 - 25).

So, what does Paul do?

Notwithstanding his predicament and adverse circumstances, Paul befriends the locals.

He stays three months on the island where he is treated kindly by the locals.

He miraculously survives a bite from a poisonous viper.

He heals the father of the island's governor.

He then proceeds to heal all the sick on the island (Acts 28:1 - 10).

Paul was practicing what he preached

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
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