Jan 13

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With a name like “Fair Havens,” the captain of a ship would think it to be a good harbor in which to dock in order to take shelter from the difficulties of the sea. However, as it turned out, Fair Havens was not fair at all! Even the captain of the ship which carried Apostle Paul refused to take dock because “the haven was not commodious to winter in” (Acts 27:12). Thus, the name was misleading to those who were not informed.
In like manner, as each man and woman travels the rough seas of life, we need an harbor in which to dock. Unfortunately, many uninformed people take to harbors which only fail.
Just as the sailors in Acts 27:12-13 sought a worthless harbor of refuge in their own wisdom and ingenuity, so do men today. Try as we may, we cannot devise a plan or philosophy of life that will ensure happiness. Man’s best, such as Kant, Bentham, Hume and Kiekegaard, have tried—and failed. Yes, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Prov. 28:26).
Also, the sailors of Paul’s ship, by their own muscle at the oars, were not a successful harbor in a storm. Today, even Mr. Olympia and all MVP’s are not immune to unexpected injuries, accidents nor age. Even powerful nations fail its people. Of a truth, “Woe unto them that go down to Egypt for help; and rely on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many” because “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong” (Isa. 31:1; Eccl. 9:11).
Wealth was another inadequate harbor in which to trust. In the storm, all the goods were thrown overboard (Acts 27:18-19). Unfortunately, uninformed people today also attempt to find harbor in wealth. But, money comes and money goes. Thus, we are warned “to not…trust in the uncertainty of riches” (1 Tim. 6:17). Job denied “making gold his hope,” or saying to wealth, “Thou art my confidence” (Job 31:24).
Luck was also a treacherous harbor of which Paul’s sailors tried (Acts 27:20). In life, man cannot rely upon luck for a good marriage, the raising of children nor the obtaining of heaven.
All of these “harbors” were unreliable, untrustworthy—yea, worthless. They all have appealing names: “Fair Haven,” but they are misleading. Yet, Paul told of the harbor in which they (and we) should trust (Acts 27:22-25). A harbor which is always fair. Always sustains. Always secure. That harbor is God, who is our “hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest: as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” (Isa. 32:1-2).

Gary Henson

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