And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. 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. 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. 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.
At this time in Paul's life, he was a prisoner on a ship with other prisoners headed to Rome. However, due to a storm and the ship running aground, the prisoners and soldiers jumped into the sea and swam to a nearby island. Wet, cold, and tired, they built a fire to warm themselves as the natives of the island offered no help to them. Even though a prisoner, Paul began to collect some wood for the fire when suddenly a venomous snake jumped out of the wood and bit him. The Bible records that he shook the snake off and continued being a servant to the very people that wanted to kill him back on the ship. The natives of the island took note and watched to see if Paul would die because of the snake bite. Throughout our lives, we will have people watching us when certain circumstances arise in our life to see how we handle them. As Christians, our reaction to these trials, circumstances, and the devil's temptations should be one that brings honor and glory to God. There will be lost family members and coworkers who will be watching when these unexpected situations arise in our lives to see how we react to them. The Barbarians perceived that Paul was a murderer who deserved death by way of the snake bite. What they didn't know was that Paul was a murderer before his life was changed by Jesus Christ, who washed his sins away, and therefore Jesus was with Paul protecting him. As Christians, we have Jesus Christ in our lives to help, protect, and guide us. When the devil, the snake, tries to bite us to discourage us, cause us to react negatively, and to pull away from God, remember that others are watching you and that you have Jesus Christ who will help you when you rely upon and trust in Him. Because of Paul's testimony of his snake bite, the Barbarians opened up where they once did not want to have anything to do with Paul and the others. Our reaction to our snake bites can open the door to talk about Jesus to those around us. Don't let the snake bites disrupt you from se
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