Sep 9, 2015
It has been hot in my part of Michigan lately. For many vacationers, this was the weather they were hoping for in July so they could enjoy the water. But I am partial to the 70◦ days and 50◦ nights. Hot in Michigan is rarely without its comrade: humid.
We say it fast, hotnhewmud, as if it were one word. Because, here, it has its own identity. Most commonly, it appears when the crickets are shiny black and fat, spiders are huge and bugs of varying size and shape whir, buzz and click in the trees overhead. This is the signal for me to abandon my garden, thank you for everything, and retreat indoors with iced coffee until fall cleanup.
But inside there are mirrors (that’s meers in the Michigan accent). My hair is ever before me, and right now a good chop seems the right thing to do. Last spring I was growing it out. So, I have grown it out, in its frizzy, curly glory to do what? Cut it all off again?
This is some kind of circle of life for women.
Decisions. We all have to make them. Do you deliberate for days? Close your eyes and leap? Ask friends, family and the mailman (I was desperate–not proud of that) for advice? Do you pray?
Sapphira should have prayed. Acts 5:1-11 tells her tragic story.
It was a time when believers were inspired to share their resources because of the great need of persecuted and poor Christians. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary quotes Dr. Lightfoot as believing it was the year of Jubilee.) A foreigner named Joses sold land and brought all the money to the apostles. You can imagine the applause and gratefulness.
Sapphira’s husband saw it and maybe wanted the same recognition. Maybe he didn’t want to be outdone by a foreigner. Maybe he started out with good intentions. Anyway, her husband sold property they owned. He decided to keep some of the money for them and set it aside. No big deal.
But– when he brought it to the disciples/apostles, he claimed the money he gave them was all the proceeds from the property. Big mistake. He ended up falling down dead.
Sapphira loved her husband apparently. Perhaps they talked about this decision to pass off the partial monetary gift as the total and agreed on it. Perhaps she made a quick decision on the spot to back his lie. Maybe she feared his wrath if she told the truth. Whichever scenario, she depended on human instincts to make up her mind.
Three hours later she went looking for her husband. Peter asked about the price of the land. She made her decision and answered. She also died that day. Small decisions can have big consequences.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us not to lean on our own understanding. We are limited. The God who created us is not. Sometimes we make decisions fearful of what people will think of us or fearful of the power they hold over us. It's important to analyze our own motives in the decision-making process. We are to fear God not man. (Proverbs 29:25)
The verse begins with the key to surrendering our self-preservation attempts. It says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart..." Trust is hard for us. But why? God knows the end from the beginning. Do we really think we can do better? If you are like me, a quick reboot of certain memories proves I can't.
Proverbs 3:5-6 goes on to say, "...acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will direct your paths." Sapphira and countless others would have experienced a different outcome if they would have done one thing: put God first in everything.
Cutting my hair is a small thing. Feeling ugly is not. I meet a lot of people, and I need to feel good in my skin– uh– hair. So, I’m giving God all my thoughts, all my emotions, all my obedience to His way. Then I can pray confidently, knowing He will lead me to the right decision. (Let you know later.)
For more on Sapphira check out: Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs
- (no comments)