Tearing himself away from the leaders of the church in Ephesus (v.1) Paul set sail. We read of no less than seven places that they either passed by or called at (vv.2-3) that can be pointed to on maps: these are no made-up places to fill out a fantasy novel.
Reaching Tyre the group sought out disciples and stayed for seven days. The believers there heard the words of warning about Paul’s onward journey that he already had in 20.22-23 and pleaded with him not to go (21.4b).
It is so interesting how some can hear a Word from God and press on into the danger that may come, yet others can hear the same Word and choose a different path. Some continue, some pause. Some are compelled to keep going whilst others alter their plans. No side is better off, none is the more obedient path.
We see here in Acts 21.1-6 a wonderful example of the Sovereignty of God (He knows what awaits Paul in Jerusalem) and the free will and choice of man (Paul can either get on the boat or remain in Tyre). One consistent Word about what awaits in Jerusalem, yet two distinct responses to that Word.
As long as we are not in direct disobedience or rebellion to the Word of God, we are free to make our choices about how it plays out in our lives. His Sovereignty does not cancel out your free will. Take what He knows, and apply it to your own life. This may look different to other people, but it’s ok to amicably and with love take different paths (v.5b-6).