Friday, June 12, 2009

Acts 5:1-16

Two or three times Luke records, "Great fear fell on them. . ." Do you think? What would the church be like if every person who made a pretense of tithing (just 10% not everything like these two) dropped dead? Yikes. I am certain God was more opposed to the pretense than he was the percentage. If they'd said, "This is all, except for what we needed for braces for Jr.," I'm sure they'd have survived the day.

When the church was of one mind, "no one dared to associate with them." You'd have to be pretty sold-out to associate with people who sold everything and then dropped dead when they lie!


Anonymous said...

This incident reminds one of the period when the children of Israel were in the wilderness and just entering the promised land (Korah, the man with the Midianite woman, and Achan are examples). It seems like God was not very tolerant of greed and deception then either, as though He did not want the heightened sense of unity among His people defiled by the presence of a tare among the wheat.

I agree that the particular sin seems to be less about the tithing issue, and more about deception..which we already know God hates from the passages about the 'shortened ephah' in Amos 8 and Micah 6: "Can I justify wicked scales and a bag of deceptive also I will make you sick, striking you down, desolating you because of your sins"

God certainly sent a message about His foundling Church, that the former guile of Jacob did not belong among them.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff. Interesting that no one dared to associate them, a bit like the mountain where God was that only Moses dared to ascend as the people hung back in fear of such a powerful God. They sent him up there as a sort of priest, but Peter states that as Christians we are a 'Kingdom of Priests, a Holy Nation'. That seems like how the young Peter-led church was too, but the requirement was that they not lie to God.

Was this church the ideal, to be emulated? It seems very similar to the oneness described by John in John 17 and in Revelation when he describes the temple, with each member as a pillar. I tend to think that marriage might be the only relationship that comes close to this kind of unity, but it would be awesome if the church today could somehow resemble this.