Ananias and Sapphira

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.  But Peter said Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?  Whiles t remained, was it not thine own?  and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power?  why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart?  thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.  And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. 

Acts 5:1-5

At the end of chapter 4, we find the story about Josas Barnabas who had a piece of land, sold it and brought the money to the apostles’ feet.  The Lord commended him for his generosity and put it in the pages of the Bible for us to read.  But this is a different story.  Ananias and his wife Sapphire had no doubt seen the blessings of giving that others had received.  So they devised a plan that they would sell some of their land, and keep some of the money but act like they were also giving all of the proceeds to the Lord.  That did not work.  You might be able to fool the apostles, but you cannot fool the Lord.

Ananias died, and shortly afterward, his wife died.  Both of them died because they lied to the Lord.  As Peter told him, the land was theirs to do with as they pleased.  They didn’t have to sell it and, if they did, they didn’t have to bring the money to the disciples.  They could have kept some of the money or all of the money.  It was theirs.  But they wanted people to think that they were more generous than they actually were.  They wanted to deceive people.  It did not work.

Are we honest in our dealings with money?  Do we seek to deceive?  Do we ever try to make people think that we are more generous than we really are?  These are important things to think about.

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