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Why, God?

Acts 5.1­-11 #20 in the series God is not afraid of our questions—I think he rather likes them. Sometimes I like to ask ‘Why?’ particularly when reading scripture. In case you have not noticed, Jerusalem is heating up with the growing intensity of the Jesus­ followers. The more earnest the believers got, the more they prayed, the more God showed up and made his presence known. I just looked back at that sentence I typed to see a powerful recipe for you and me: the more earnestly I want to see God, the more I will pray; and the more I pray, the more I will see God show up, and make himself known.


As we turn the page to Acts chapter five, we note that it is long and covers a lot of ground—first, a strange scene with a husband and wife, Ananias and Sapphira; then, the healing power of the apostles increases mightily, and in turn, the persecution against them. No more cocoon of believers on a sweet honeymoon. Again ­ sometimes I like to ask ‘Why?’ Particularly when reading scripture. In this case, ‘Why, God, did you strike Ananias and Sapphira dead for lying? Wasn’t that a little extreme – a little over­reaction?’ Things were still new and fresh in the community of young Christ­followers in Jerusalem; weren’t they just figuring it all out? To get a feel for things, we look at the close of Acts chapter four where Luke writes about Joseph,* who the apostles called Barnabas, selling his property and giving the proceeds to help those who were in need in their tight­knit group of people. It would seem that “Barnabas” had probably come to believe in Jesus Christ as a result of one of Peter’s sermons. His new found devotion to God moved him to lend material help to those who were struggling, which came at great personal sacrifice. Here's the passage to consider in your Bible: Acts 4.33b -­ Acts 5.11. Or click: Perhaps influenced by Barnabas, a husband and wife, Ananias and Sapphira, made a similar show of things--at least it appeared from the outside. Independent of one another, each indicated to the apostles that they had sold a piece of property and given the entire sales price to be distributed among those who were in financial trouble. But that is not what happened. They sold property but only gave a portion of the proceeds, though they indicated they gave all the money. So, they lied. My thoughts, “Lord – I can hear it now, from this person and that – ‘don’t you think that was a little tough of God? I mean, that certainly wasn’t a very loving thing to do; after all, they didn’t have to give any money to God, but they did. So really, what’s the big deal?’” Well, dear reader, I should like to ask you that question: why would God strike the couple dead for telling a lie? Maybe there is not one totally all-­encompassing takeaway for the demise of the pair, but I believe God leaves certain scenarios open to interpretation for our consideration, that we may seek God to understand and --->seek to understand so we may know God. So what do you think? Why did God strike Ananias and Sapphira dead for telling a lie? He did so in front of the whole community and it sent ripple effects . . . what was the reason? Think about it and consider it in its context here at the start of Acts and the new church age. Then hit ‘reply’ and let me know your thoughts, won’t you? This radical song covers a myriad of reasons we ask "Why, God?" Austin French Christine * – Acts 4.36­-37

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