This is the third time Paul has mentioned some “seafaring” experience, in his relatively short (biographical) “Hardship List!”
Here they are:
He was three times involved in “shipwrecks!”
Then later … he was “a night and a day in the deep,” floating in the ocean! Likely holding onto a buoyant piece of the ship!
And now, he recalls even more … “perils in the sea!” 2nd Corinthians 11:26
Most Jews had an aversion to the Sea, the Ocean!
They generally had never been an ocean traveling people.
God gave them LAND, not an Sea!
The Promised LAND, it’s called to this day!
Paul only traveled the maritime lanes (about 7,000 miles of them one scholar estimates) in order to preach the Gospel, found Churches, teach God’s Word!
The man was a veritable “sailor!”
And he thus faced many (often) “perils in the sea.”
(I am not even counting Paul’s “in perils of waters,” also included in his list! I figure that means “rivers,” not oceans.)
Surely these “dangers” (“perils”) include the broken ships!
The holding on “for dear life” as he gradually floated to land, to shore!
But maybe not! No one is positive. Paul can tell us more when we get to Heaven.
I know that once there was a “plot” to kill Paul, while sailing to Rome. Read Acts 27:24 here. “And the soldiers’ (the guards on board) counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.”
That sounds “perilous!”
And we know of one more shipwreck in Paul’s life (at least one more), recorded in Acts, when Paul was being “transported” to Rome, having appealed to Caesar. Folks, I mean one more not listed in 2nd Corinthians chapter 11.
Yes, “perils in the sea.”
Plus … who knows? (This list apparently leaves Paul 10-15 more years of life, of serving God! Time for many more “perils!”)
Experiences Paul never forgot!
But these did not frighten the Preacher, Apostle (Paul) from serving the Lord!
He remained faithful.
And do remember this … Paul is using this “list” to refute some back in Corinth who “doubt” he is a real Apostle!
The thinking goes like this … if a man suffers this much for a cause, for Christ Jesus, he SURELY must be sincere!
Yes, Paul’s sufferings (in his mind anyway) prove the sincerity of his faith.
I’ll tell you this much. Paul was no “hireling!” They “run” when danger comes. Jesus taught this in John 10:12 … “But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth.” Paul did not flee!
May we too be “real” in our faith, in our walk with the Lord.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell