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Text:

“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...” - Acts 28:4, 5.

Comment:

After St. Paul, the soldiers and other prisoners in the ship had gotten safely to shore, they knew the island was called Melita, now Malta, near Sicily in southern Italy. Though the people were not Christians, they were very kind to them providing fire for them to warm themselves, because of the rain, and because of the cold. It was here the devil struck, but God allowed it for good to promote His name. When Paul gathered sticks and put into the fire “there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand”. Seeing this, the natives reasoned that death was still pursuing him even after he had survived a shipwreck. But Paul shook it off his hand and had no hurt, by the grace of God. “And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm”. (Acts 28:5)  The people looked on, expecting him to swell and die suddenly but seeing that nothing happened to him, they changed their minds, and called him a god. (Acts 28:6)  Besides that, Paul healed the Island ruler's father. - Acts 28:8. 

All things work together for good to the people of God. (Romans 8:28) Though the passengers suffered losses because of the shipwreck, many people were won to God as St. Paul was used to manifest the power of God to the people. God protects the apostles and also the other sheep from all evil so that they would be alive to praise Him and carry on His work. – Isaiah 54:15, 17; Psalm 121.

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