Day 137 – May 17
26 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the water comes back and covers the Egyptians, their chariots, and their cavalry.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. At daybreak, the sea returned to its normal depth. The Egyptians were driving toward it, and the LORD tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the cavalry, Pharaoh’s entire army that had followed them into the sea. Not one of them remained. 29 The Israelites, however, walked on dry ground through the sea. The waters formed a wall for them on their right hand and on their left.
30 The LORD rescued Israel from the Egyptians that day. Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the amazing power of the LORD against the Egyptians. The people were in awe of the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
Acts 5:1-11 – a difficult reading
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”
9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”
10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
Comment: many cultures around the world understand this story so much better than we North Americans. Our independent culture thrives on individualism. Interdependence sometimes surprises us. I have lived where this story is fully understood and welcomed. Praise God the fullness of the Body of Christ!
9 Look at your enemies, LORD!
Look at how your enemies die,
how all evildoers are scattered abroad!
10 But you’ve made me as strong as a wild ox.
I’m soaked in precious ointment.
11 My eyes have seen my enemies’ defeat;
my ears have heard the downfall of my evil foes.
12 The righteous will spring up like a palm tree.
They will grow strong like a cedar of Lebanon.
13 Those who have been replanted in the LORD’s house
will spring up in the courtyards of our God.
14 They will bear fruit even when old and gray;
they will remain lush and fresh 15 in order to proclaim:
“The LORD is righteous.
He’s my rock.
There’s nothing unrighteous in him.”
Comment: for the first century B.C. and for ancient Israel, life was never taken for granted and death was a very real expectation day to day. So it was easy for the psalmist to point a finger and show how God’s “enemies” die. Praise God for Jesus, who died for enemies and friends alike. Now, how does that work with Annaias and Sapphira?
Prayer: Your loving kindness endures forever Lord. Thank you! Amen.