3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
How easily do we make assumptions about others? After the shipwreck we see Paul and other prisoners arriving in Malta. When Paul is bitten by the snake the islanders are quick to assume it must have been some sort of divine justice. The reality though is that bad things don’t only happen to bad people, neither good things only happen to good people. As believers we know that there is a judgment that is yet to come. Paul went through much affliction in order to continue to share the Gospel. In the midst of it all, God was present; miraculous signs happened and people believed. This reminds me of Jesus’ words to His disciples in John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(Su).
Thoughts for the day
- Are there any superstitions/assumtions that you believe in that isn’t in allignement with the Bible?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Pray for somewhere in the world that needs God’s attention. Flick to a news app or website, and pick a news story to pray for.