The Majority May Be Wrong

Acts 27:9-20 “Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west. And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.”

Text Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

Paul and his company are faced with a discussion; “Do we lodge here for the winter or do we press on?” While you may not be faced with this exact choice, all of us are faced with choices every day; choices that not only affect us, but those about us. Within the text there are at least three things that enter in to their discussion making process. The first thing they considered was comfort, “the haven was not commodious to winter in” (vs.12). The idea is that the port was inconvenient; it didn’t have all the comforts to satisfy the fleshly desires of man. Their first consideration was is it going to make me comfortable? The next consideration was the crowd, “the more part advised to depart thence also” (vs.12). What does the majority want to do? Sometimes it is wise to seek as much counsel as possible; “in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). The counsel consisted of the master of the ship, the owner of the ship, and the sailors that were employed to work on the ship. The last thing to be considered was the command, “this voyage will be with hurt and much damage” (vs.10). God speaking through His servant warned against leaving port! There is nothing wrong with being comfortable and gaining the opinion of the crowd, as long as it doesn’t go against a clear command of God! When faced with a discussion; it may be necessary to sacrifice comfort and the crowd, but never the commands God. You will never go wrong making God’s Word the final authority!