The High Cost of A Deadly Snake Bite


Eric Ferguson was taking out the trash last August from his Mooresville, N.C. home when he was bitten on the foot by a poisonous snake.  He drove himself to the Lake Norman Regional Medical Center.  However, the bite that stung the most was the hospital bill!

For an 18 hour stay, Ferguson receive a bill for $89, 227.  Most of that was for the four-vial dose of anti-venom, which was billed at over $20,000 per vial.

The 54-year old Ferguson told the Charlotte Observer that he was further shocked when he found retail prices on the internet for the medicine between $750 to $12,000 per vial.  The medical care was “beyond phenomenal,” he said. “It was just the sticker shock.”

However, with the Blue Cross contracted discount the bill was reduced to $20,227.  So with their deductible and co-pays the couple ended up with owing about $5,400.  Still both Ferguson and his wife, Laura, were angry and felt the hospital initially over charged them.

The hospital defended their “list price” saying it was necessary because of Medicaid and Medicare rules and to compensate for patients unable to pay.

As I read the story and thought about the high cost of a snake bite, I was reminded of another kind of “snake bite” with even a greater cost.

The devil came to Eve in the garden of Eden in the form of a serpent and tempted her to sin.  With the lust of the eyes, the forbidden fruit was visually appealing, with the lust of the flesh, he sought to appease her appetite, and with the pride of life, she was wooed by desire for wisdom.  Eve succumbed to the temptation.  So did Adam.  And the price?  Banishment from their garden home.  Separation from God.  And the entrance of sin into the world.

And what has followed ever since?  Pain. Hurt. Suffering.  Sickness.  And death.  Physical death.  And spiritual death.  Of course, as accountable beings we are each responsible for our own sins and shortcomings.  We can’t blame Eve!  The Bible says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  “There is none righteous, no, not one.”

So the serpent, Satan, is ever lurking, seeking to strike!  Looking for an opening.  An opportunity.  A weakness.   Ready to sink his poisonous fangs  into our souls.

And the cost?  Much more than a hospital stay.  I can remember as a “preacher-boy” my mentor, Aude McKee saying, “Sin will take you farther than you care to go; keep you longer than you want to stay; and cost you more than you want to pay.”

Consider the cost of alcohol abuse.  In a drunken stupor someone gets behind the wheel of a car, and crashes into a family of four, killing the father and two children.  A widowed, grieving mother is left childless.  And disconsolate.

A husband is seduced by the wiles of an attractive woman.  “Innocent flirtation” soon leads to a sexual liaison.  Trapped by his own lust, he can’t quit.  And soon leaves a heart-broken and scorned wife, and confused children.

A teenage girl, seeking popularity and admiration of her worldly friends, lowers her guard, compromises her standards and gives in to the lust of an exploitive boy friend.  Young. Scared.  And pregnant.  She wonders where to turn, as the boy moves on to other conquests.

A greedy business man “juggles the books” just a bit.  Soon it become a habit.  Small amounts have accrued into large sums.  Soon an audit uncovers the dishonesty.  Fired.  Disgraced.  And facing jail time.  In a moment of despair he takes his own life.

The stories are legion. Real.  And heart-rending.  They remind us, once again, of the high price of sin.  Watch out for the snake!  He’s ever lurking!  And seeking to strike…

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Sin

3 responses to “The High Cost of A Deadly Snake Bite

  1. Billie

    Ken – what a great example. This is you at your best telling an everyday experience into a biblical example.


  2. Larry Hafley

    I’m sure you know how deeply this article has stung me, how deeplyit has hurt me and crushed me under a flood of”strong crying and tears” (Heb. 5:7). No, you cannot know. Keep it up. Brotherly love, Larry


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.