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.
Well here it is - God struck them dead because they knew better and they disobeyed while being so dishonest in the process of their questioning. Wow - maybe today we need to accept that God is going to punish us. Fear is a lost part of Christianity in our modern society. We are told over and over how merciful God is - but don't you think a good healthy dose of fear is good in the light of our sinful society? I believe that just as we look at prayer and some blessings bestowed upon us as coincidental, so do we also look at misfortunes as coincidental. Maybe God punishes us with different types of hardships and we do not want to think of God that way. Here is the way I think of it; I believe God either punishes to correct us or to warn us. I think some punishments are built in- what I mean is physical burdens from gluttony, over-indulgence in alcohol, some sexual sins, etc. We have punishments that are physically painful from misuse of food, alcohol, medicines, sexual actions and even though we suffer some of us continue in one area or another. It is the great lie that the immediate gratification of any overindulgence is worth the damage done to our body. The warning punishments might just be something that gets our attention - like a fender bender, or in the form of other minor hard situations that gets you off one path and thinking about your choices. Who knows? but I think we need to be more observant of those stories in the Holy Bible in which someone is being punished by God in a corrective fashion. We also need to embrace the fact that God is not just punishing people by casting them into Hell at the end of their life, but is punishing them along the road of their life to give them opportunities to change, and live in obedience and enjoy the life that He has planned for us.
One last thought-
God instructs us through His Word and the Holy Spirit.
God lays down laws to keep (The Commandments).
God shows mercy when we turn from sin and repent.
God punishes when we stay stubbornly in our sin and lie about our disobedience (denial).
God rewards the obedient Christian that embraces correction and strives to walk righteously through this journey.
Romans 2:13 Not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. amen!