Day 153: The Admonitions of a Knowledgeable Minority

Acts 27:9-12 :

When much time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous, because the Fast had now already gone by, Paul admonished them, and said to them, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” But the centurion gave more heed to the master and to the owner of the ship than to those things which were spoken by Paul. Because the haven was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised going to sea from there, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, and winter there, which is a port of Crete, looking northeast and southeast.

One of the problems with democracy is that it assumes that the people who vote know what is best for themselves. In many cases, this is not true because the people lack knowledge of the truth. It also happens that, by fooling those who vote into believing a lie, a democracy can be used by the most wicked men to move a society into an even darker place. Democracy itself is not the answer, but God can use a democracy to do good by giving the people a high level of freedom to choose when they choose well. In fact, it appears that in practice, only a democracy who’s majority believes in laws of the God of the Jews appears to work well. I believe that God-believing majority is far more important to a democracy than anything else.

On this trip, Paul was a minority. Not only was he a prisoner and with few rights, he was one of the few people on board who had the presence of God Almighty within himself. Paul was in the place where God could cause him to know something that the others could not easily know without becoming Christians and having the Holy Spirit themselves.

The centurion did the logical thing from his worldview and listened to the “the master and to the owner of the ship” and to “the majority.” This same logic is often used as an excuse to not believe God and His people today. Notice how this passage makes it clear that the word of God is more reliable than both our leaders and the majority. God is the only one who really knows and understands everything and if we want to be successful, we should listen carefully to Him.