Week of June 17 - Day 2

Day 2 Read: Acts 5:1-11

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.

7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

Reflect: How did Ananias’s and Sapphira’s transaction compare with Barnabas’s? What was at the heart of Peter’s words in verse 4? How would you summarize his comments?

Consider: What is described in this chapter is not a case of church discipline. Rather it is an example of God’s personal judgment. “The Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:30–31). Had Ananias and Sapphira judged their own sin, God would not have judged them (1 Cor. 11:31), but they agreed to lie, and God had to deal with them.[1]

Respond: What steps can we take to prevent greed and deception from taking root in our hearts? How is God calling you to give sacrificially for someone else?

 

[1] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 422.