“Don’t try to cover the whole sky with the palm of your hand”
This is a Korean proverb, which means that “one can only ‘cover’ the sky if he covers his own eyes, but the sky will still be there and cannot be denied its existence. Therefore, this is a very foolish thing to do. Or it means that you are not being honest to yourself and not admitting how you feel about someone or something. In addition, it means you are avoiding the obvious, but you are going to the have to face it one day.
We can apply this proverb to today’s couple in the bible. Ananias and Sapphira tried to cover the whole sky with their palms. But it turned out that it was foolish thing. He seemed to make a promise that they would donate what they sold to the apostles. However, Ananias kept some money for himself, and brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet (ver. 2). However, Peter knew the exactly what happened through the Holy Spirit.
From this passage, we can learn that it is impossible to hide something before God. God knows everything although we try to hide something. In fact, we already acknowledge that God knows everything. But we often forget this. Then, we pretend that God may not be there; God may not know anything. Why are we like this? We believe in God when we need something, but we may not believe God if we don’t need Him anymore. So we may try to cover the whole sky with our palms. We may not be honest to ourselves. However, God always exist whether we acknowledge Him or not. He knows everything.
Thus, we need to raise this question always to us. “Do I live to show something in front of people or God who knows everything we did?” We acknowledge that we live before God because we can’t hide anything from God. However, we keep trying to hide the whole sky by our hands because of our sins. What the Lord wants is to see ourselves. We don’t need to wear the facemask.
When God met Moses, He asked Moses to take off his shoes. God asked him to take off everything he had, such as his position, knowledge and experiences, to hear Him.
When we meet God, we also put everything we have at God’s feet. Our God wants to see our honesty to God. We should live before God. It is a secret to live honestly. It is a secret to resemble God. This is the first message of today’s passage. Let’s live before God. Do not decide ourselves. We acknowledge that we can’t hide anything before God.
2. Let’s repent when you have a chance. The chance is not there always.
What we learn from the couple in today’s passage is that they lost a chance to repent their sins although the Lord gave the chance to do. If they repented, the end of the story would not the same as today’s passage.
We can also find the similar story at the book of Joshua. At the chapter 7, the Israelites were defeated by the men of Ai. Joshua prayed to God and knew that this defeat came from the sin of Israel. Thus, Joshua asked to draw lots. From the tribes, Judah was taken, and then Zerahites was taken among Judah tribe. Zirmri’s family was taken and then finally Archan was taken. Then Archan confessed his sin. He hid the robe from Babylonia and silver and gold in the ground inside his tent. He might think that nobody knew about it. However, he didn’t recognize that God knew everything.
Archan might think that he would not be taken. He had several chances to repent his sin before he was taken. He ignored the opportunities to repent his sins. Although he tried to hide a whole sky with his hands, he forget that God knew everything.
Because of his sin, many people including his family died. He always put up to death. So we have to learn that we should repent for our sins when God gives us a chance. Repent is the way we can live and also our family and our community.
This is God’s promise: “If we confess for our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)”
3. Let’s pray when we do a good thing.
Actually, what the couple did was a great thing. To sell their properties and to give all to the apostles, they needed courage and also faith. It is hard to do because it is against the nature of humans who want to have more. They had to sacrifice their life. However, the ending of the story was not happy at all. Although they might begin the good work with faith, their heart was filled by Satan in final, which resulted in the sad ending.
What is the message for us? We should pray for everything when we do a good work with our faith. We should ask to the Lord to keep our heart and thoughts. Otherwise, Satan may attack our weakness. When we begin with a good will, we should pray for the Lord to guide us to finish all things beautiful. This is the third lesson from today’s passage.
4. The role of the husband and wife is important.
“He kept back some of money and brought it and put it at the apostles’ feet’
When they did this, the couple actually discussed what they wanted to do. They had one mind and one thought. And then, they wanted to save some of money, I think that it was no problem. However, they pretended to put all of money at the apostles’ feet.
It should be good when the couple shared their opinions each other. However, it was sad that they had one mind and thought when they decided the Holy Spirit of God. If one of them would be against the evil idea, they would be saved.
God made man and woman. God allowed them to be one as a couple. God wants couples to help each other. They would be good helper each other. For Anarnias and Sapphira, they forget their roles as a couple. When one did a bad thing, the other should be against it. This will make them alive.
Don’t be like Anarnia and Sapphira. It is important to hear one’s spouse. She/he will be wiser but she/he should be awakened in spirit. Otherwise, you may have the same result like Anarnia and Sapphira. It is important to play a role as a husband and a wife.
5. Don’t let the money be our owner.
What we learn from today’s passage is that we don’t let the money be our owner.
The believers at the early church put their properties at the apostles’ feet. They saw the poor and had some minds to help them. The meaning of ‘at the Apostles’ feet’ is that they confessed that the money was not their master. They showed the position of the money in their lives by faith. Money is not person. Money is not important rather than human being. The believers of the earlier church showed this faith by their lives.
I wish that you all are rich. And also I wish that you are not being a slave of the money. Person who serve the wealth as one’s master is very cold-hearted because he/she is governed by non-person, money. Of course, money is not the good nor the evil. However, our quality of our life will be determined the position of the money. When you put it on our head, we will be governed by the money. When you put it at your feet, you will govern the money.
What we learn from the history is the final end of people who put the money on their head. They killed other people. They robbed other people. They made other people unhappy. So it is very important for us not to put the money on our head. Thus, the believers at the earlier church showed that the Lord was their master. However, I don’t want you to apply to sell out your properties and donate the church.
What we know is that they were not killed because of their offering. As you see at the verses 3 and 4 of the chapter 5, Peter said that it didn’t matter whether they offered all or part of money. The point was that they served the money as their master. They pretended to cover God with their palms.
Of course, we may see that they tried to put the money at the Apostles’ feet. However, they still didn’t put some of them, which cause for Satan to bewitch them. They didn’t put the money down completely, but some on their top head.
What we become the servant of the Lord is that we put our Lord on the top of our head. He governs us. The money will be down at our feet. The money governed by person will be used to save the people and to serve the neighbor and to be used to glory of God. However, again, money that is served as a master will kill the people. This is a warning of today’ massage.
God has everything. He is the richest in the world. However, God still asks people to give offering to God. Why? The reason he asks is that he wants us not to be a slave of the money and would be a good manager of the money. Yes. It is hard to make earn the money. It is not easy to give offering. However, God bless the people who put the offering because of their confession: we are not the slave of the money, but the manager of the money. It is a blessing life to govern the money. Thus we can live, our neighbors will live. Our nation will live.
How about the modern church? The church that is the servant of the money is corrupted. The minister who love the money is corrupted. To overcome this, we need to pray for our daily life. We need to experience God who provide our daily food. I wish that you govern the money, but not be governed by the money. It is the best thing that the Lord is our master. We will put all we have at the Lord’s feet. God will take care of our life.
The biography of the missionary Hudson Taylor described how hard he prayed for the missionary. He asked God to provide the needs of missionaries in china. He believed that God provided all necessaries to people who seek His nation and justice. God sincerely answered his prayers. He showed that he was not the slave of money, he governed the money that God provided to him. We can also govern the money.
6. What we need is the shift of the paradigm.
This is a problem for the employment exam.
You are driving at the night with fierce wind and heavy rain. When you pass by the bus stop, you see three persons there. 1. The old women who is dying. 2. The doctor who saved your life before 3. A person who is your dream woman/man. You can ride a person. Which person do you want to ride in your car? After choose a person, please explain a reason.
If you give an old dying women a ride, you may save her life. If you give a doctor a ride, you may repay his kindness. However, you may miss the person whom you have dreamed forever.
Among 200 people, one person’s reply was selected and then he was employed.
His reply was as the following.
“I will give my car key to the doctor and ask him to ride a dying women to the hospital. I will wait for the bus with my ideal woman(man)’
Sometimes we give up our limitation, we can obtain more. When we break our cast of the thought, we may obtain the more than we expect.
So far we pondered a couple shown in today’s passage. We may be similar to this couple. How do make our lives different? What was the frame that the couple had? What was the frame of life that we have? If we can break our cast of thought, we can obtain more rather than we expect.
We should live in front of God. Don’t let your life be governed by the money. The master of our life should be the Lord, but not the money. We should treat the money as a slave. It is a matter to use the money, but not to have how much you have. When we lean on the Lord, we will feel more freedom. What make you nervous? What do you hold in your hands? Open your palms and put it at the Lord’s feet.
We need to focus on God, but not man. We should filled with the Holy Spirit, but not Satan. We are the people of God. Jesus Christ is the Lord. God bless us!