Saphira’s husband has just fallen dead at the feet of Peter for lying to the Holy Spirit, now she comes along and doubles down on the scheme.
“Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?”
She said, “Yes, for so much.”
Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Acts 5:8-9
She does indeed fall down dead. OMG!
Apparently character and integrity rank pretty high on the Lord’s list.
Why it matters
Yes what happened to this couple may seem harsh. But integrity, honesty, character is important. Very important to God because he knows what we will be facing if we are truly following him.
The attacks and the trials of a Spirit filled believer who professes Jesus Christ as the Son of God in a world that is largely in control by the Prince of Darkness who hates us and our God, who knows that our words are just exclamation points on his defeat are frequent and relentless. Our strength of character and the integrity of our relationship with God is paramount to our standing and even flourishing in the attacks.
Immediately after this event we see why character is so important.
“Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” . . . and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. Acts 5:28, 40—42
A clean Heart
The Lord needs our hearts to be right for the trials ahead. A pretentious spirit that wants to please godly men while disregarding the Spirit within will never stand up when it matters, when they are called to proclaim the words of life to others even if it may cost their own.
What a stark difference between the hearts of Ananias and Sapphira and the Apostles here. The first two sought acclamation and attention by pretending to be sacrificially serving the Lord in obedience and thus suffered internally even to death.
The later sought only to glorify Jesus, sacrificially serving in obedience to the Lord even though it made them look rebellious in the eyes of man and thus they suffered externally. But they rejoiced and were strengthened within.
The time to play games is long past. The time to pretend is long past. It is time to be real, to be who we are in Christ and to be honest in all things to ourselves, each other and most importantly, we must be honest to God.
Because in the end, we must be found standing. We must stand in and against this evil day. To do that we must have a heart of integrity. No pretensions, no falsities, no showboating.
All the Lord wants is a heart that’s true, a heart that’s pure, a heart that‘s His
We are the bride of Christ, we are one with him, as we are one with our spouse. A dishonest marriage, a marriage where one person lies to the other with no remorse or hesitation is not a marriage that can nor should survive, it is in fact not a marriage at all as marriage is based on a covenant, a promise, a word.
If that word is no good, the marriage covenant is meaningless. The same is true in our relationship to our God. You gave your heart to Jesus, be true to him. He is always true to you.