Pastor Barry's "Chapter & Verse" Day 12
January 12, 2018; Acts 28:5; 117/260(II); ‘Shake Off the Snake’
Acts 28:5 But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. NLT
In Acts 27, Paul and the entire crew of the ship he was on, survived a horrific storm. The crew had given up hope that they would live, but an angel appeared to Paul and told him that he and the entire crew would live. The ship was destroyed, but everyone on board made it safely to an island called Malta. The natives of the island were very kind to the crew and a fire was started because it was raining and cold. Paul had gathered some sticks to put on the fire and as he gathered the sticks, he accidently picked up a viper as well. The viper bit Paul on his hand. The natives assumed Paul would die of the snake bite and also thought he had to be a murderer, since he survived the shipwreck only to die of a snake bite. Paul shook off the viper into the fire and suffered no harm. The natives who thought Paul to be a criminal, changed their minds when he did not die because of the bite of the viper. The natives ‘changed their tune,’ and now considered Paul a god. In Mark 16:15-20, a passage we call the Great Commission, verse 18 tells us that we will pick up snakes and if the snake bites us, we will not be harmed. This account of Paul is what this verse means. Missionaries and those evangelizing in nations where there are deadly snakes, will have the Lord’s protection should they be accidently bitten by a snake. It does not mean, as some unscriptural, ‘Christian teachings,’ say, that we are to intentionally pick up a snake and play with it. Things like this allow the lost to justly criticize what they think is Christianity. The Word of God makes sense, perverting the Word does not.