Daily Devotional Monday 24th February 2020

by William Moody

Acts 5:1–11

Ananias and Sapphira

5:1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.

After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you1 sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.


[1] 5:8 The Greek for you is plural here


Sadly the wonderful days of blessing in the early church would be interrupted by Satan now attacking. In this passage the attack is from inside, by leading two professing Christians Ananias and Sapphira astray.

They sold some property and they kept back some of the money for themselves (v1-2). They could hold money back, but it appears Ananias presented the rest of the money to the apostles as being for the whole sale. The problem here was their dishonesty in trying to look more generous than they were.

Peter’s strong rebuke highlights the serious of what Ananias was doing in lying to God the Holy Spirit (v3). Ananias had been led astray by the devil, who was seeking to harm the church.

We see here that what Ananias would have seen as a harmless lie to men was actually a serious lie to God (v4). God expects honesty and truth to reign within His church, not lies and deceit.

The result was that Ananias (v5) and then Sapphira were struck down dead (v10). This led to a fear seizing the church and community (v5 & 11).

Lying, like all sin, is no trivial matter. Are you always fully truthful?

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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