“Sogreatfearcomeuponallthechurch and upon all who heard these things” (Acts 5:11).
What a dramatic death was that of Ananias! If all the believers ate and worshipped together, why didn’t anyone real Ananias’s wife what had happened? The Bible doesn’t give us the details—it lets us draw our own conclusions about the possible reasons for such secrecy. Were they so angry when they discovered the deceit, that they preferred not to say anything? Were they so astounded, praying, repenting of their own sins, that nobody noticed when Sapphira arrived? Did Peter warn them not to say anything to the conspiring wife?
Three hours had gone by since they had buried Ananias, and his wife did not know about it (see Acts 5:7). There were no social networks except for word of mouth, but not a single relative or friend warned her about what had happened. She had conspired with her husband to deceive the Holy Spirit and the newly founded church. They had kept for themselves part of what they pledged to God, and the divine response was the immediate death of both of them, separately.
Some people may think that the sudden deaths of Ananias and Sapphira do not reflect the grace and mercy of Jesus, but His perfect grace includes judgment. You are called to submit to your husband, but not to be an accomplice to his sinful, illegal acts, or to anything in violation of his promises to God. “They are accountable for the means which Heaven has entrusted to their care, and in no way can they excuse themselves from this responsibility until they are released by rendering back to God that which He has committed to them.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 330.
When Peter asked Sapphira if they had sold the property for such-and- such amount, it was not to trick her but to give her an opportunity to confess her sin and repent. Every wife knows that she has an influence on her husband; she could have kept Ananias from sinning and sought the advice of the apostles, but she preferred to go along with her husband. Seeing this, everyone trembled in horror and renewed their consecration.
They saw the presence of God in action. “The people needed to be impressed with the sacredness of their vows and pledges to the cause of God. Such pledges are not generally held to be as obligatory as a promissory more front man to man. But is a promise less sacred and binding because it is made to God? Because it lacks some technical terms, and cannot be enforced by law, will the Christian disregard the obligation to which he has given his word?
No legal note or bond is more obligation than a pledge made to the cause of God ”—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1056).