What an impact the deaths of Annanias and Sapphira had!

By this time the whole church and, in fact, everyone who heard of these things had a healthy respect for God. They knew God was not to be trifled with. Acts 5:11 (The Message)

In our homogenised (made generally paletable) Christianity in the West the ‘nasty’ bits of the Bible are smoothed over or dismissed. The truth is that God doesn’t always behave to our understanding of right, justice, truth. He is the holy God and holiness has standards of right, justice, and truth that aren’t always paletable to us. We want God to be nice about everything and to treat every wrong or sin as unimportant in the big picture of his love for us. Clearly this was not the case with Annanis And Sapphira, God’s love demanded that their commitment to follow Jesus was lived out to the full. The consequence of their disregard for God’s holiness was that they missed out on the blessing. If such a thing happened in many of our churches in the West today we would see a great out flux of people through disillusionment and fear because we aren’t prepared to see God acting outside of our expectations of him. I suggest that the fear felt by the early church in witnessing the consequence for these two is a healthy fear of the holy God that we could do worse than adopt today.

May we accept that when God works outside of our expectations he sees the big picture and does, what he does, for our best. Let us live peaceably with the apparent contradictions knowing that there is much in the righteousness, justice, and truth of God’s plan we do not yet see. Amen.