Ananias and Sapphira died instantly for lying to the Holy Spirit. If God dealt with lying and hypocrisy in the same way in our churches this Sunday, I wonder how many of us would walk out?
1 Chronicles 5 & 6
1 Chronicles 5 & 6:
The tribe of Levi
As we continue through the genealogical record, the tribe of Levi, as the priestly tribe, is given special prominence. Not only do we have the genealogy, but their responsibilities are delineated, as well. In 6.33-47 we see those assigned the responsibilities for singing and praising God in the house of the Lord. Heman seems to be over all the singing with Asaph and Ethan on his right and on his left. Besides singing they also penned a number of the psalms. Asaph is given credit for the one in our reading today.
I will remember
Notice the title, “A Psalm of Asaph.” This psalm, like many others, starts out with deep sorrow, but ends with the psalmist encouraging himself and us, with accounts of God’s faithfulness in the past. This is one reason why the psalms are a good place to go when we are struggling with hurts and discouragements. The psalmists were often very honest with God about their disappointments, grievances, fears and worries, but there comes a turning point where they begin to say, “… but God …” We will see that in this psalm as we proceed through it over the next couple of days.
In these three verses we see words and phrases like. “I cried out,” “in the day of my trouble,” “my soul refused to be comforted,” “I … was troubled,” “I complained,” and “my spirit was overwhelmed.” But later we’ll see such phrases as. “But I will remember” and “I will meditate … and talk of Your deeds.”
Slow to anger
Verse 11, “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.”
A man of discretion, a wise person, is not quick to get angry. Even when there may be a cause for righteous anger, he considers it carefully, making sure to have all the facts before taking any action and choosing not to respond until reasonably sure he is not sinfully angry.
James 1.19-20 says, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
Even when there is a transgression, the wise man or woman considers overlooking it (although there are times when sin should not be overlooked), and understands the importance of forgiving.
Hypocrisy & “little white” lies
Ananias and Sapphira sold some land and pretended to give all the proceeds to the church. They didn’t have to. There was no universal command to “sell all you have.” But they wanted to look good.
I wonder if God dealt with sin in the same way in our churches this Sunday, how many of us would walk out of there? Even though we may not often see this quite as vividly, God’s attitude toward hypocrisy and lying hasn’t changed!
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11.28-32:
“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”
Though Paul is talking specifically about the Lord’s Supper in this passage, we should be examining ourselves on a daily basis. Notice that Paul says, “many are sick and weak … and many sleep (have died)” because of a failure to examine themselves.
Let us examine our hearts and invite the Lord to do so as David did in Psalm 139.23-24, “Search me, O God … And see if there is any wicked way in me …” so that we don’t have to be chastened by Him. Let us seek to have pure hearts so that we will have power and peace and blessings in our lives!
Is there some area of your life where you’ve been acting hypocritically? Have you ever lied to make yourself look better?
Are you slow to anger or is the opposite true? Study and meditate on James 1.19-20 and Ephesians 4.31-32. Ask God to help you make the necessary changes in your life.
Blessings to each of you,
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