I suppose Dealing with Snakes could mean several things but my concern is how to get rid of them. I am aware of the promise in Mark 16: “These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands, and whatever poison they drink will not harm them; they will place their hands on the sick and they will be well.” (16:17-18) The obvious way this has been handled by tradition and Bible interrupters is to simply say: ‘most manuscripts don’t include this in the text’ and therefore ‘smack, smack-take back’ these verses don’t count.
But they counted for Paul, an apostle: “Once we were safe on shore, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us. As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.” (Acts 28:1-6)
I’m not advocating unnecessary snake handling. That’s creepy. What I am proposing is that it is inevitable that we will be confronted and at times bitten by political, religious, economic, social, cultural, media, business, and dozens of other breeds of snakes. Snakes are snakes. When they bite us and are hanging on our hands… shake them off in the name of Jesus.
“Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.” Jesus