Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Acts 5:3-6

Summary retelling of Acts 5:3-6:

Today we see the conclusion of Ananias – in more ways than one!  Here we get at the heart of the issue: deception.  Peter isn’t bothered by the fact that Ananias kept some of the money for himself and Sapphira.  What bothers Peter (and God) is that they were deceitful in presenting the gift as though everything that they gave was the amount for which they had sold the property.  Peter reminds Ananias that the property was his to do with as he pleased; there was no reason to lie about what he had done.  Then Peter tells Ananias that he is ultimately guilty of lying before God.  Ananias is struck dead and carried out of the room by some members of the congregation.

Thoughts for Today:
First Thought:
While these verse seem to be about greed, they are actually about lying.  Their actions may have been motivated by greed – perhaps Ananias and Sapphira didn’t need the money they kept.  But, perhaps they did need the money and there was legitimate reason to keep some of it back.  As Peter says, the money was theirs to do with as they pleased.  What there was no reason to do was to lie about what they had actually done with the money.

How often do we lie about our actions?  How often do we lie about actions that weren’t even wrong, yet we still try and cover them up?

Second Thought:
Jumping off of the prior thought, it is quite possible that Ananias lies here without actually having sinned in keeping the money.  This brings up the idea that lying doesn’t have to be covering up something bad.  We might lie because we are trying to cover up truth.  Many poor people lie to hide that they are poor – when there is really nothing wrong with being poor!  A rich person occasionally lies about being rich when there is no sin in being rich, either.  Sometimes people lie to cover up truth when there is actually no sin involved in the truth.

What other truths do people lie about in order to hide them – even though there is no sin involved in the truth?  If there is no sin in the truth we are trying to hide, why do we still feel the need to lie about it?

Third Thought:
Ananias dies.  We know that the wages of sin are death.  I find it interesting that nobody in the gathered congregation seems to be bothered by Ananias’ death.  Peter doesn’t react to the harsh judgment.  The young men simply gather up his body and take it out to be buried. 

How would people react today if God struck someone down in the midst of their sin?  Even in our churches, if this happened today do you think people would accept God’s judgment or would they react with repulsion towards God and His wrath?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 5:7-8
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