The Poisonous Barb

by | May 17, 2011 | Miracles, Provision, Witnessing

One day Bitbet visited a man he had befriended in another village. As Bitbet entered the house, he saw the man’s wife obviously ill and lying on the floor. “What’s wrong with your wife?” Bitbet asked.

“She has been sick for a long time. A barb from the tin of a poisonous fish penetrated the skin next to her knee. It is still in there.”

Bitbet saw that the leg was very swollen and the woman was in intense pain. “What is that you have under your knee?” He asked.

“A Bible,” they replied. “A visiting leader from the Catholic church told us if we put the Bible there, the sickness will go away.”

Bitbet saw that they were using the Bible as a fetish, mixing Christian beliefs with the old animistic religion. “It is true that the Bible contains God’s Word,” Bitbet said. “It tells us about the Creator God and what He has done. It tells us about Jesus Christ and how we can know Him, but the Book cannot heal you. Only God can. Do you want me to pray to God for you?”

“Yes, yes, please pray.”

Bitbet took the Bible away and laid it on the floor beside him. Then he prayed very simply: “O Lord, we know that all power belongs to You. You alone have the power of healing. Will You please intervene in this sickness and heal this woman. We know You can do it. We commit her to You.”

That night, Bitbet was wakened by the woman’s excited husband. “Bitbet! You prayed for my wife, and she is healed! You’ve got to come and see what has happened. The place where the barb was hiding has opened up, and the barb has come out. She is well again! I couldn’t wait until morning to tell you!”

Bitbet hurried to the house, where he found the woman sitting up. Her leg was its normal size, and she could bend her knee. The pain was gone. As the people rejoiced, the husband wanted to give Bitbet some large crocodile skins. “No, no,” Bitbet protested. “I cannot take pay. I didn’t do anything. God has done this for you that you might believe.” Still they insisted that Bitbet take something. “I would like to have something from you, but you must let me pay the regular price, because it was not my power but God’s that healed your wife. I cannot take pay for what God has done.” Bitbet urged the man to place his faith in the living Christ rather than in a printed book. “God has shown Himself mighty on your behalf so that you will turn from your superstitions and believe.”

“Bitbet, we’ll build a church if you will come and live among us and teach us,” they pleaded, but for the time being, Bitbet had to leave.

Dekker, John (with Lois Neely). Torches of Joy. Seattle: YWAM Publishing, 1985, 1999 p. 143-144


The Poisonous Barb