Celtic Daily Light

Extracts from Ray Simpson's Book

Readings for Friday 17th August 2018

Italian Chapel, Orkney

Samson and the deadly serpent

Believers will be given the power to perform miracles ... if they pick up snakes or drink poison they will not be harmed.

Mark 16: 17,18.


After Samson’s father had been healed of a serious illness, he, his wife, his brother and his brother’s three sons all turned to the Lord, and began a mission journey to win converts and plant churches.

One day while on a journey they came to a point in their track which bore all the signs of burning and destruction from a notorious serpent, of a type which then existed, which the whole region feared. The family, full of apprehension, discussed what to do. Samson reminded them of Jesus’ promise: ‘If you have faith even as small as a mustard seed you can tell this mountain to move and it will’. ‘Wait here, calmly,’ he told them, ’while I go off and try to hear from God on this matter.’ Samson’s uncle tried to go with him, fearing for his safety, but Samson told him ‘stay with the others until I return in triumph’.

Samson saw and heard the fire-spitting serpent in a far-off valley. He went towards it, reciting scriptures such as ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation’. With huge swishing and hissing the serpent twisted and grabbed its tail in its teeth; and then tossed a lump of earth almost in Samson’s face. Samson made the Caim Circle Prayer around the creature for protection, and placed a cross in the ground. The serpent reared up with a ghastly hissing, as if it had been pierced with a sword, and gathered itself into a ball, savagely biting its tail with its teeth. Samson continued to quietly sing psalms, holding his staff firmly in the ground. The others arrived nearby. ‘ Come nearer’, Samson said, ‘so that you may develop faith in faith’. They witnessed an uncanny sight: the serpent slowly uncoiled and slithered along the ground until it came to Samson’s staff. Over and over again it did the same thing, but never could it raise its head or go beyond the staff. This went on all through the day, and Samson used the time to instruct and build up their faith with advice such as ‘Those who believe in the Creator ought not to fear the creature’. Eventually, as twilight came, Samson spoke to the serpent: ’We have a long journey, but you have no longer to live. In Jesus; name I command you to die now!’ At once the serpent raised its head, as if making a final bow, cast forth all its venom, and lay down dead.

Lord, may I grow more valiant, day by day, starting today.