Paul and the 275 people on the ship safely swam on the island of Malta. The islanders welcomed them and built a fire for them because it was cold and raining. As Paul put brushwood on the fire, a poisonous snake fastened on his hands and bit him. The islanders saw what happened and began to think that Paul was a murderer because the goddess Justice was against him for the snake bit him. However, Paul shook off the snake into the fire, and nothing happened to him. The Islanders changed their mind and believed he was a god. Publius, the chief official on the island, welcomed Paul and his companions, and while there, Paul healed Publius' father. News spread throughout the island, and they brought all their sick to Paul, and God healed many of them through Paul. The people on the island honored Paul and his companions and provided them supplies for their journey to Rome. (Acts 28:1-10).
Jesus promised his disciples with these words, "They will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well" (Mark 16:18). Many people misinterpreted this promise by saying that anyone who has great faith will not be hurt by snake bite. However, the meaning of this verse is to let us know that God can protect us from any harm while we follow and serve Him. God protected Paul from the venom of the snake because God is not done in his life on this earth. God used Paul to demonstrate His power by protecting him from venom and healing many sick on the island.
God is our ultimate protector. God can protect us even when we are surprised by a sudden event, like a snake bite. God's will and purpose will stand against any harm. Let us walk with confidence that God is our protector. Nothing can happen to us without going through His loving hands. Let us keep following and serving our Lord Jesus while we rest in His protection.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through these questions carefully and meditate on them while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speaks to you). Who is my ultimate protector? How should I live my life believing that God is my protector? What lesson can I learn from this story?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, you are my ultimate protector. I am so blessed to know my life is in Your loving arm. Please help me not walk in fear but in confidence in you. I give you all the praise and glory, for you are always with me. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.