Mark 16:18 ,Study 24,Playing With Poisonous Snakes
"O I Just Got Bitten"
Hosea 4:6 Yes people even Gods people can be destoyed through lack of knowledge
Yes the bible uses the terms "fools" or "ignorant" here
Yes a "fool" does not just apply to "the unsaved", yes I too can be foolish and deviate from
the path in in my foolishness I can steer my ship into the rocks
So I too as a "child of God" can be foolish or ignorant and this does not just apply to lets say
the "sadducees" or the "pharisees" or the "world"
But to be more politically correct lets use the term "lack of knowledge" as this sounds far more
user friendly and less offensive to todays society Proverbs 10:21
Now lets also apply it with Isaiah 5:13 also and consider that Gods people are sent into exile
through lack of knowledge and die of hunger and thirst in a parched land through lack of
And lets also consider what this means as we think about "hearing the Masters voice" and
how we translate it to our lifes and as we know the sheep "know the Shepherds voice"
Thats a well known verse of scripture and not so well known or used is Isaiah 1:3
Where the Ox knows His Master and the donkey his owners manger, but Israel........
And so here we have the relational aspect and the considerations when aligning this with
And I ask the question to myself
"Is relationship aligned alongside "salvation" ?
How many times have I played with poisonous snakes and been bitten ? I can't even count the
number of times !
It reminds me of the times in my earlier days (before learning patience and reading the
instruction manual) when in my impatience I've gone about building a cabinet or going about
a DIY project without fully understanding what I'm doing
And after many grumbles and complaints I've set about reading the "How I went wrong manuel"
In my earlier days as a Christian I sort great comfort and assurance from taking well known
scriptures and applying them to my life and every situation
And it was a great help and got me through the testing times and out of the places where my
heart had taken me
But after time I began to realise that this "Did not work"
I realised that my building was flawed and that "Like the DIY projects" I had not read the instruction
manual properly, now I knew this anyway and I knew that I had much to learn and still to this day
I have much to learn
And for every answer - two more questions arise and I realise that there is no end to knowledge
Let alone applying it to life which is the next step in the "Faithwalk"
I would take the "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" and apply it to
the times when my strength was faultering and my faith was weak
Great stuff, except I knew that the concept of taking something literally and applying it literally
into my life must be flawed
It worked though to take me out of that time and onto growth but it did'nt get me "that job"
Or "pay that bill" or "make me that transformed person overnight"
I knew that there were limitations to taking one scripture on its own and applying it to every
and any situation and I soon learnt that this "appliance" of scripture had faults
And sooner or later I would get "bitten"
And this very scripture that I had used to help me actually came back on me like a "boomerang"
"OOooo noooooo, this has'nt worked and that has'nt worked and this and that"
"Oooo I'm struggling here with my faith...having taken scripture and standing on it, Ive gone
and got bitten by it"
Now lets look at another well known verse that can be taken literally with KJB Mark 16:18
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall
lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover
Now if this verse above is to be taken literally lets then go to yet another with Matthew 18:9
and we see that if the eye causes me to sin then I should pluck it out
In one sense we might take the first scripture and say "yes it can be literal"
In the next scripture we then take that and say "Noooo its not literal"
Lets take a glimpse at a few more scriptures
Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all
the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
Acts 28:3 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.
Acts 28:5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.
So we see that this event with Paul on the island of Malta was "Literal"
He was literally bitten by a snake while walking in the "Spirit" doing Gods work and he
suffered no ill affects and then we see the the islanders wanted to make Paul a god
And this is the whole point here in the last few words "wanting to be a god"
Don't get me wrong , I believe God can and does do anything anywhere at anytime
He has command over the enemy who is satan and controls all things even though all things do
not offer up the control to Him or give Him authority
But even satan and his demons believe in God and the only ones who would be so "foolish" to
say "there is no God" is the human being
Now going back to this passage of scripture where we have a literal biting of a snake and no ill
affects we see that the motivations are not to seek glory with Paul being a god but rather the
motives are to glorify God and not to be so foolish as too "put God to the test"
Paul did not go looking for snakes neither did he drink poison in order to prove God
Now in contrast look at 1 Kings 18:37 where Elijah calls out to God and God brings down the fire
on the offering to display that He is God or you could say "To Prove"
And so we see that taking a scripture literally is not always applicable
Indeed we see that the motivations and heart attitude is more important to God
We do not play with scripture to formulate some type of "key" to success
Neither do we play with poisonous snakes to be gods
Neither do I pluck my eye out if it is used to look upon something to make
me sin (in a literal sense)
Instead when a member of the body "sins" we know that they are too go to the Blood of
Jesus and to be cleansed and maybe even if prompted by the Holy Spirit to go to others
for forgiveness or be forgiven and in this way the body that is the " Church" or the "Family
of believers" is reunited 1 Corinthians 12:21
We might look a bit silly calling down fire from heaven and seeing nothing happen having taken
the 1 Kings 18:37 scripture in a literal sense
We might jump off a high building but go crashing to the ground Luke 4:9
Having gouged out an eye we might still sin
Having picked up and been bitten by a poisonous snake we may well die
We see that God does not always work and do things the way we plan Him too
He does not dance to our music
He does not give us a formula to abide by
Instead God works in mysterious ways where once He does something in one way He may well
change and go in another direction John 3:8
I am to follow God and God does not follow me
I must not play with poisonous snakes to bring glory to myself
And so briefly we see that not all scripture can be applied literally, that is to "take a scripture out of its place in Gods Word and apply it to our situation now"
As the song says "I can do all things through Christ IF You are the strength of my life and when
In other words as we walk in Him He gives me the strength and the ability to walk and look to the "image of the serpent" lifted high that the chosen ones cannot be harmed Numbers 21:8
That they may not be bitten as they have been bitten , for Israel had been bitten many times before
And in this playing with snakes they had gone into Exile and this very thing had taken them into exile Isaiah 5:13 this lack of knowledge leading them to be bitten, therefore the boomerang came back on them
Now in Numbers 21:8 it comes to pass that IF we are bitten and when we are bitten that we suffer no ill affects
NOW this takes us to John 3:14 and with this we go on to Nehemiahs anger and confrontation with the people
Nehemiah 5:9-11 And so Nehemiah confronts the people and they say
12“We will give it back,” they said. “And we will not demand anything more from them. We will
do as you say.”
This is repentance, a turning around and visible outward sign of change
Note that Nehemiah kept them to this word in verse 12
Then I summoned the priests and made the nobles and officials take
an oath to do what they had promised
In other words it was not just to be a repentance and change , but an ongoing repentance
This reminds me of Matthew 3:2 and Luke 19:8
Yes and to think that they had all they needed in God right on their doorsteps, theres a story about that in the desert wanderings where they were dieing of thirst yet had an undergraound oasis right next to them and God told Moses where it was and Moses struck the Rock
Takes us to "The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want for anything"
In other words, "He is all I need and all sufficient to meet my inner wants"
"What does it benefit a man if he gains the whole world but looses his soul" thats a question
In other words of course we will want and need as humans, but the question is where do we seek
When we seek in the right place we shall have no want because our need is met
When does this happen ? when I repent and turn to Him on a continious daily basis
Having a heart of repentance that leads to salvation and that is an "ongoing salvation"
TASK = Read Mark 16:18
1. When have I put scripture into practical application in my life ?
2. When I have, did I only take the scripture on its own and apply it James 1:22
3. Has this ever come back on me and bitten me ?
4. Was this lack of faith or merely ignorance on my part ?