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Audibles Episode 4 “Snakes”

pakastani black snake

There’s a battle that goes on in our hearts when we come face to face with our own sinfulness. Will we repent and receive God’s grace and forgiveness? Or will we ignore His promptings? Consider this story.

One bite of the Pakistani black snake, a member of the cobra family, produces enough venom to kill 10 men.

 Teddy Tarrant was keeping one of these snakes as a pet. He had it for two years with no problems, but one day all that changed.

As he was taking pictures of the cobra at his house in South Carolina, the snake bit him. He was rushed to a hospital where doctors eventually learned that Kendall Hospital in Miami was the closest hospital that had the rare antivenin that was crucial to his survival.

Things looked grim when Tarrant arrived at Kendall. He was unconscious, paralyzed and not breathing on his own when he arrived.  Kendall’s doctors administered the antivenin to Tarrant, which seemed to do the trick. “He’s no longer paralyzed. He’s moving all extremities. He’s talking. He’s alert. He’s taking breaths on his own,” Kendall’s Drs. reported.

After Tarrant woke up and tried to remove IVs, he was sedated. Tarrant said that he had seven snakes, including two copperheads, and still hoped that he could keep his snakes. “I want to keep the snake, but I don’t think my wife is going to let me,” Tarrant said.

“If I end up keeping the snake, I’m not going to be as careless as I was last night. I always thought I was quicker than that snake, but I found out the hard way I’m not“.

Tarrant’s wife Ashley was pregnant at the time of the snakebite and was due with their child in less than 10 days. He said that with a baby on the way, he was taking a serious look at the safety of keeping snakes. “The only thing I was scared of was my wife having the baby and me not being there to see it,” he said.

“You’re dealing with a snake that the type of toxin that it has attacks the central nervous system and shuts down the respiratory system — quickly. I’ve seen it happen in under 20 minutes,” Al Cruz of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said.

Tarrant admitted that he should have had some antivenin at home. “I should have had antivenin in my refrigerator, but I was too dumb to go get it and too ignorant,” he said.

Tarrant said that he has been bitten by a snake before — a diamondback rattlesnake.

I figure four or five more bites and I’ll leave them alone. I just don’t want to give up my snakes,” he said.

What a story! In many ways Teddy’s reluctance to get rid of his snakes parallels our struggle with sin.

Consider Teddy’s own quotes, “I want to keep the snake”, “I’m not going to be as careless”, and “I figure four or five more bites and I’ll leave them alone. I just don’t want to give up my snakes”.

 I challenge you today to ruthlessly repent of any sin in your life.

I John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Any sin that we ignore and do not ruthlessly remove from our life by God’s grace through repentance is damaging our spiritual health. Let’s give up our snakes.



Portions of post come from a news story on


“Man Recovering From Cobra Bite At Miami Hospital”

July 5, 2001

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