Acts 28:1-31 We saw yesterday how 276 souls aboard Paul's ship were spared. In today's reading we see how Paul's life was spared. All those on board the ship swam to the island of Malta, where they were well received by the natives there. There was a chill in the air, and when Paul gathered sticks for a fire, a snake bit him. No harm came to Paul, and this was a great witness to all present.
Most people have a natural fear of snakes. I believe this fear is part of our nature because Satan appeared as a snake to Eve. That wicked serpent is still tempting people, and many are bitten by him. Satan is able to send his venom in to us if we give in to temptation. The bite of a poisonous snake can lead to death if an antivenom serum is not administered quickly. Another way to avoid death if a poisonous snake bites you is to cut out the flesh and all tissue that is around that bite before the poison has a chance to flow into your blood stream. You have heard stories of how people have been spared by quickly taking a knife to cut out the area in the flesh of the snakebite.
Removing the snakebite of sin in our lives follows this same pattern. We have two choices. We can recognize the bite of sin quickly in our lives and confess it quickly, thereby receiving the antivenom serum of the blood of Jesus, which purifies and protects our lives from the death sin can cause in our lives.
The other choice is for us to take action and cut out the flesh part of our lives that has been bitten by sin. This action is called denying yourself. Satan is no dummy, and he knows your weak areas. He knows just the place to send his poison into your flesh because he sees that area of your flesh is very vulnerable. For example, if the weak area in your life is lusting after the opposite sex, Satan will see to it that you will have opportunity to give into that lust by putting things continually before your eyes or thoughts in your mind that begin to poison your system. The only way to overcome this satanic attack is to cut out the infected flesh. David made a covenant with God not to put any evil thing before his eyes. We can quickly deal with the area of sin by cutting out any activity that would lead to further infection of sin in our lives. To some this may mean no longer watching worldly television programs or reading worldly magazines.
No harm came to Paul when the snake bit him because he was filled with God's Spirit and covered by the blood of Jesus. I would not suggest that you handle snakes to find out if you have the same protection. But you can rest assured that you do have the same protection against the snakebite of sin. When that wicked serpent bites you, you now know what to do—confess your sin, repent and receive the cleansing of the blood of Jesus or cut out any activity in your life that will give Satan an advantage over you through temptation. No harm will come to you if you will be faithful to do your part. God is always faithful to do His part. Jesus has overcome in every area you are tempted so that you may overcome every temptation.
READ: 1 Chronicles 11:1-12:18; Acts 28:1-31; Psalm 9:1-12; Proverbs 19:1-3