Foolish! Ridiculous! Seriously?
Ananias and Saphira sell some property and then give part of the money to the apostles claiming that it’s all of it.
So God doesn’t know this? They think they’re hiding this from God?
The problem is not that they kept some for themselves – God wants us to give generously with open hands and he doesn’t ask for it all. The BIG problem is that they claimed it was all. They lied. They wanted the credit and recognition for something they didn’t do.
The consequences were brutal but they remind us of the importance of being completely honest. God knows. God sees. We hide nothing from God. It’s something we can learn from their example.
In this same passage we hear some of the wisest words I’ve read in the Bible that weren’t from Jesus. Gameliel stands up in the middle of this group of Jewish leaders wh0 were scheming about how to get rid of these pesky apostles and his wisdom breaks through the evil cloud hanging over them. He tells them to leave the apostles alone. If this is just something the apostles are doing on their own, it will not last.
But if this is from God, all of their evil scheming will be powerless. Do they want to try to fight God? Because they will not win.
This reminds me of the Experiencing God Bible study I did in the past where we learned to see what God was already doing and then join him. When God is doing something, we might as well join in and help it happen. Because it’s going to happen – with or without us. And we should never be foolish enough to try to fight it. Or ignore it – pretend it’s not happening. Or try to control it.
We would never do that, would we?
Thank you, Dear Father, for the examples you give us in your word to help guide us and for letting us join you in what you’re doing right here, right now.