“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. 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.” But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 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.” (Acts 28:3-6)
We watched the movie Moonstruck (1987), as it is one of my favorites. I like that it is about true love and misconceptions. Everyone is under a misconception of what they think they want and regarding the people around them. The misconceptions are based on limited information and superstitions such as bad luck, but during the story the facts become clear and truth emerges. When everyone comes to the truth they find what they had hoped for though they never imagined how it would actually be. In the above scripture, the Islanders were full of superstition and misconceptions thinking the snake bite of Paul was bad luck catching up with a guilty prisoner, then just as quickly thinking he was a god.
I wonder how many people live under superstition today, trying to make sense out of events and circumstances without any real knowledge of the truth and God Almighty who is Sovereign over heaven and earth. Even Believers can be tempted to rationalize events and circumstances, but the Word of God and Holy Spirit operate in unity to reveal truth. It’s not that we know everything about every situation, but we know the One who does, and we have confidence that we are in His care. Therefore, whether the snake that bit Paul was non-poisonous or God supernaturally protected Paul, (see Mark 16:18) we understand Paul was fulfilling God’s call for him in Rome. (Acts 23:11)
The world is busy promoting superstition and the misconceptions to which it leads. We are called to Believe and rely on God’s Word and calling upon our lives. We live by faith, not sight, nor superstition, speculation or rationalization. For Believers our future is not dictated by Politicians, Billionaires, Corporations or Media. We are servants and followers of the most High God, our Savior and Lord, Yeshua Messiah. The end has already been written and God has foretold it, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:10-11)