Just how much power is there in the human tongue, not only for good, but for potential destruction?
Acts 5:5 – And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
The story of Ananias and Sapphira is one of the most intriguing stories of the Scriptures. They were both new Christians, as were all Christians at that time. In fact, the church itself was in its infant stages. Many people were selling various possessions, and bringing either all or a portion of the price of that sale to the apostles, and laying it their feet in a demonstration of love for the Lord, honor for the work of the kingdom, and in recognition of the role of leadership that rested upon the apostles. Whatever they sold was in their possession, and therefore in their power to do with as they pleased. Likewise, what was gained from the sale of whatever possessions were sold was in the possession of the seller, and in their power to do with it as they chose.
But in the case of Ananias and Sapphira, it seems that their giving was with a false pretense to make people think they were doing something they really weren’t doing. They wanted everyone to think they were giving the entire amount of the sale. They were attempting to impress. For what, precisely, I do not know. But that was their intent. But it was NOT the holding back that was so dangerous to them. While they held the possession, it was within their power to do with it as they pleased. It does not seem that the Lord was demanding a certain amount from them, and the church certainly was not demanding anything. It was in their discussion BEFORE the presentation of the gift to the apostles that they opened the door for death come enter into the transaction. Ananias and Sapphira had secretly agreed to bring a portion of the sale price, lay it before the apostles as their gift, and to indicate that what the gave was the TOTAL sale price received. In short, they PRE-meditated a lie. I don’t know if they were so self-deceived as to think they could deceive Holy Spirit, or not, but the certainly intended to deceive the apostles and all the onlookers so as to gain some kind of perceived favor.
It was at the point of their discussion and decision that their judgment was set. God is true, so by their decision to go against the Lord, they placed themselves in an unjustifiable position, opening themselves to critical judgment. They failed to recognize the great truth that by their words they would be justified or condemned. Their own words condemned them. Were it not for the great mercy of our Lord, how many people today would fall into the same level of self-judgment as did Ananias and Sapphira? They held the power of death and life in their own tongues, and they used, but alas, not well.
Manna for Today – Acts 5:1-11; Matthew 13:24-30; Ecclesiastes 1:9; Ecclesiastes 5:1-7; Proverbs 18:21; Deuteronomy 28:10; Isaiah 11:2; Matthew 12:37; Romans 3:4