I’m reading Bad Girls of the Bible this summer and discussing it with Marilyn each week. This week was about Sapphira, the woman from Acts 5 who conspired with her husband, Ananias, to lie to the Holy Spirit about the price of a piece of property.
As you read the story, it would seem that she and her husband lie to Peter. However, there is no biblical reference to anything other than sin against God; in fact, Peter tells Ananias that he has not lied to men, but to God. After the two of them were struck dead in quick judgment of their deceptive sin, the news spread, and with the news, fear spread too.
Liz Curtis Higgs, the author of Bad Girls of the Bible, says this about the fear that struck the church:
During the season of signs and wonders and miracles, it was necessary for the Lord to strike fear in their hearts, the sort of fear that would ultimately keep them safely in the kingdom.
Proverbs repeats the truth that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and the author of Hebrews reminds us that “whom the Lord loves, He disciplines.” I was just talking to a friend about how parents who never set boundaries for their kids do a great disservice to them. Without correction and direction, children (and adults!) find themselves in dangerous places.
Oh, for a fear of the Lord that keeps us safely in the kingdom!