September 29th 2010

Relying On Our Sure Anchor

“And they took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and when they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be fifteen fathoms. Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come. And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, when they had let down the skiff into the sea, under pretence of putting out anchors from the prow.”
Acts 27:28-30 (NKJV)

I’ve been reading a series of books from the library about the Royal Navy in the days of the Napoleonic War. Among the many and varied descriptions of life at the time include the way the Royal Navy was run: life on a ship, actions of war, the devastation caused and the dangers of life on the sea generally.

Included in the dangers was the risk of being shipwrecked or stranded on rocks. This could happen due to storms, but could also happen when there was insufficient wind and too strong a current to be able to avoid rocks, being beached, or stranded at low tide on unseen rocks.

The anchors would be used to help haul the ship away from danger, the one at the stern dropped straight down to hold the ship where it was to prevent the ship moving closer to danger; the bow anchor being rowed out by the sailors to a safe distance and dropped. This was then wound up, by those still aboard, around the capstan with the aim of pulling the ship away from danger, the rope on the anchor at the stern being let out as the ship moved forward. The aim was to pull the ship into safer waters.

Our lives can be set with dangers of all kinds, but we have been provided with spiritual anchors to keep us safe.

The Bible reminds us of God’s great salvation through Jesus, acting as the stern anchor to prevent us getting closer to dangerous situations, whether of our or other people’s making.

Our hope in God’s purpose for our lives acts as the bow anchor, stretching out in front to lead us away from danger. As it says in Hebrews 6:19-20: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”.

We, as the ship in between these anchors, need to pull in the direction God has laid down for us.

Dear Father, we thank-you that you are sure and steadfast and that we can always anchor our lives in you through your Son, the Lord Jesus.

Study by Rosemary Gent

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