41 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.
Paul was in the middle of a terrifying journey by sea… On his way to trial with Caesar, storms begin churning that cast doubt on whether the ship and it’s riders will survive. At the height of the storm’s fury, the ship falls into that inevitable place that presents itself when two conflicting forces come together… The place where two seas meet.
According to Smith, this place was a channel between the island of Salmone, and Malta. A communication between the sea inside the bay, and the larger one outside. Where the two seas meet, there is a buildup of mud, clay, crushed rock and sand… A nearly unnavigable passage that separates the two.
Much like the opposing forces of cold and warm winds that collide to form the rotating supercell of a tornado, this place of confusion has the potential to destroy whatever enters it in the fury of a storm.
Rarely do we give much thought to the warm, tropical winds when they blow by, or to the cool polar winds as they move about us… But bring on a tornado, and we have no choice but to give them our attention. We have a choice to remain in their path, or choose to escape. Paralyzed by fear, many succumb to the destruction of the storm when it comes, not prepared to find shelter to survive.
In the middle of every storm in life comes a place where two seas meet… Where two choices collide… Where two opposing forces come together to present either life or death, blessing or cursing.
In Deuteronomy chapters 29 and 30, we hear Moses speaking to the children of Israel at a great impasse in their journey. Life has come to a critical climax in Moab and the Lord instructs Moses to present a covenant to them. They have come to a place in their lives where two seas meet. Two opposing forces have collided to demand a resolution. In the middle of their storm of disobedience, God demands from them a decision. Life with me, or life without me.
Moses tells them in Deut. 30:19, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: Therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”
Paul knew well the struggle that took place within his bones. He spoke of the war between his flesh and his spirit, desiring to do what was right, but often finding himself succumbing to the will of his flesh. Perhaps as he hunkered against the bow of the ship as it lurched into the place where two seas met, he felt like giving up. Weary from the journey, broken by the crashing waves, frightened by the storm, paralyzed at the thoughts of destruction before him, he could have thrown it all away.
But there was one thing that kept him confident in that place where two seas met… The promise that God gave to him just hours before… “God has a purpose for you, and He will keep yup through this storm.”
23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
Life may seem overwhelming and the place you’re in may have you frightened, paralyzed, weary and broken, but you have a promise from God!
Don’t succumb to the storm, when so much lies directly ahead.
So the choice is yours today, in this place where two seas meet. God has set before you this day life and death, blessing and cursing… Therefore choose life.