Ananais, Sapphira, and Darth Vader

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I was reading about Ananais and Sapphira in Acts 5. It was a time when everyone is selling everything and giving all their money to the community. Well, so Ananais and Sapphira sell their land but hide a little nest egg of money away. When ...

I was reading about Ananais and Sapphira in Acts 5. It was a time when everyone is selling everything and giving all their money to the community. Well, so Ananais and Sapphira sell their land but hide a little nest egg of money away. When they bring it to Peter, Peter asks if this is all of it. When they lie and say yes, they both fall down dead. Sheesh! What the heck?!

I just saw Rogue One and and there’s this scene where someone reports to Darth Vader. When Darth Vader isn’t happy with what he hears, he pinches his fingers together in the air and the man starts to choke.

What happened to Ananais and Sapphira sounds a little too similar to what Darth Vader does. I thought our God was the GOOD side of the force, not Dark Side. So, I obviously had to do a little digging before I just gave up on it all, like I’m prone to do.

I did some introspection and read a commentary on BibleGateway.com and came to three main conclusions.

My conclusions

  1. We are not rewarded for our actions, but for our heart behind our actions. It looks like these guys didn’t really trust God, and they were doing this just to look good because everyone else was doing it. I think a lot of my actions are driven by looking good to myself, to others, and to God. But is my heart ready to give all, if it were asked of me?
  2. It also shows that God has a fierce passion for his community’s purity. I think as the Christian community was settling into a direction it would go for the next 2000 years, God wanted people’s hearts as pure as possible. (I’m guessing he wishes we were still as pure in our surrender.) I don’t really think God, or Peter got much joy from knocking those folks dead (like Darth Vader might have). But I do think they were protecting something even more precious and had to be firm to do it.
  3. And this is the main paradigm shift, I think. These days we usually think of God as all loving, soft, and forgiving. But this again reminded me of His scary power to discipline and His passion for purity. I think I’ve ignored it because I just want to keep my safe nest egg of resources, and maybe I want to look good by the people who look at me and my religion.
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