“My God, I know that you tested our hearts. And you are pleased when we are honest.” 1 Chronicles 29:17a (NIrV)
Our memory verse is an excerpt from David’s prayer regarding the offerings made for the construction of the temple Solomon was to build. The offering received was more than enough to finish the project, and David shared with God how all of Israel acknowledged their offering would never have been possible without His provision. Further, Israel recognized everything they possessed truly belonged to God. In this verse, David says to God he knows His expectation of Israel... He would only be pleased with honesty.
The offering to build the temple was a way for God to test the hearts of the people; but, as their leader, King David also observed and judged their actions. One commentator put it this way, “David judged, as in reason and clarity he ought, of the tree by its fruit, and of their hearts by their actions.” By their actions, all of Israel passed the test; and in that moment, they were found to be honest. God was more interested in their honesty than He was in the amount they gave.
Let’s skip forward to the beginning of the church, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. In chapter 4, we understand each believer willingly shared their possessions with one another. One man, called Barnabas sold a piece of land and brought the money to lay at the apostle’s feet. Then, in chapter 5, a second man, named Ananias also sold a piece of land. However, Ananias with his wife, Sapphira conspired to hold back part of the money for themselves.
It is clear from Chapter 5 of Acts, keeping a part or all of the money would not have been an issue had Ananias and Sapphira only been honest. However, their deceitful actions were judged; and not only did they lie to the apostles, but they lied to God. Dishonesty cost Ananias and Sapphira their lives.
While we have seen people seemingly “get away” with deception, we must remember the price of dishonesty is too heavy to bear. Dishonesty destroys relationships and is capable of stealing all that we value! Let us honor God with our actions!