1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. 2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. 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.
On DiscoveryChannel.com, there is a series of video clips detailing and re-enacting various types of life-threatening animal bites that happened in the wild. This series is titled, simply, “I Was Bitten”.
One of the clips that recently caught my attention was a young man who found himself tangled up with an opponent greater than he had imagined. His description of the encounter was just full of sermon seeds. Perhaps you can pick them out…
He said, “In the summertime, it gets pretty hot where I live, so my friends and I drove up into the mountains to do some swimming. We ended up taking my friend’s truck up a fire road, and on the way back down is when we saw the snake crossing a dirt road.”
A doctor in the area who treated the young man said the following, “Through the eons, we’ve been fascinated by snakes. They’re in literature… they’ve just been around for a long time, and we’ve been afraid of them for a long time. I think that the fear that’s sort of programmed into us begins to transform into a fascination.”
The young man went on to detail his encounter with the snake. “This friend of mine decided that he wanted to keep it for some reason. I had handled other snakes before, but I figured if I held it by the tail and held it away from me that it couldn’t turn up to get my hand. So we bagged the snake up, put him in the bed of the truck, proceeded down the dirt road back to the main highway. I was sitting near the window in the bed of the truck, and the snake was in back towards the tailgate. We made it about half-way down to the highway, and the snake got out of the bag.”
“The next thing I know, the snake started coming out of the bag slowly. I turned around and started pounding on the back window, telling my friend to pull over. By that time the snake was pretty agitated from being in the back of the truck and in the bag.”
“I jumped over the side of the truck bed, and I grabbed him again. I slid my hand up behind his head, and when I squeezed he had enough room to turn, and that’s when it latched onto my hand.”
“Sin is what happens when we have too much time on our hands and too little purpose in our lives.” ~ Erwin McManus
Adam and Eve bit by the serpent of sin…
The Children of Israel bit by the serpent of sin…
Calvary provided the anti-venom…
And then in Acts 28…Paul was bit by a snake…and he just shook it off…
After Calvary and the Day of Pentecost, we do not have to succumb to sin! We can overcome sin! I was bitten… but the sting of sin has been removed and thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ!
The suggested treatment for snake-bites…
1) Move away from the threat (repentance?)
2) Elevate the heart above the wound (faith?)
3) Clean the wound thoroughly with an antiseptic (baptism?)
4) Dress the wound (as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ)
5) Keep patient hydrated (Holy Spirit? ‘living water’)