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Faith Filled Friday: Paul’s Snake Bite

September 16, 2022

by Connie Terpack September 16, 2022

Acts 28:1-8

This story begins in Acts 27, but I’m starting in chapter 28.

Paul and the other prisoners escaped to a small island called Melita. Paul wrote that the barbarous people showed them no little kindness for they kindled a fire and received every one of them because of the rain and cold.

My KJV Bible explains that “barbarous people” is the Greek word for people who speak a foreign tongue. I thought it meant wild and inhospitable.

Verses 3-6 tell of Paul’s snake bite while gathering wood and adding the sticks to the fire.

3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat and fastened on his hand.

4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, ‘No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.’

5 And he shook off the beast into the fire and felt no harm.

6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen or fallen down dead suddenly; but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

7 In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and lodged us three days courteously.

8 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux [dysentery]; to whom Paul entered in and prayed, and laid his hands on him and healed him.

What I found most interesting was Paul’s calmness. A venomous snake just bit him and all he does is shake it off into the fire, like it was no big deal! I pictured the snake about 2-3 feet long and slender. A snake that could easily blend in with a bunch of sticks. The Bible calls it a “beast” in verse 4. To me, that makes it as big around as a man’s forearm and at least 5-6 feet long! Paul had no doubt about his trust and faith in Jesus.

God Our Father

Paul teaches a number of truths about God the Father in this epistle. Verses are in 2 Corinthians:

1) He is the living God (3:3; 6:16)

2) He is the God of grace, mercy, and comfort (1:2-3)

3) He is faithful (1:18)

4) His power is available to His people (4:7; 6:7; 13:4)

5) He is the Father of Christ (1:3), and of His people (6:18)

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