Shake Off the Beast

Following the account of shipwreck, the deliverance of Paul and the other prisoners from the stormy sea, and their safe landing on the island of Melita, an incident is related in the twenty-eighth chapter of Acts which is worthy of consideration.

While Paul was assisting the friendly natives in building a fire, "there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand." The natives, seeing the "venomous beast" clinging to Paul's hand, immediately concluded, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live." But as they watched, expecting to witness Paul's sudden death, "he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm." There is no intimation either of panic or of fear in Paul's thought or action. He did not strike at the viper or look about for material means of help; he simply shook the viper into the consuming heat of the fire.

Our Father's Business
July 13, 1946

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