1. The Plagues of Egypt
The Plagues of Egypt are among the most famous judgments in the entire Bible. The story of the plagues can be found in Exodus 7-12, and include...
- water turning to blood
- frogs from the Nile
- dust turning into gnats
- swarms of flies
- hail storms
- ravenous locusts
- darkness, and
- death to the firstborn sons of Egypt.
Can you imagine any of these events taking place? Try reading Exodus 7-12, while placing yourself in that situation. It would definitely be horrifying; however, these were just a portion of God's judgments against the Israelites during the life of Moses! The Lord is righteous and desires for holy and righteous people.
The book of Exodus opens with a story telling how Pharaoh commanded death upon newborn boys born to the Israelites. Moses was rescued through the cunning of his parents and the faithfulness of God. But the judgments were brought because of Pharaoh's refusal to release Egypt's Israelite slaves.
The plagues have been popularized in recent movies, attributing the powers of the plagues to the black arts. Somehow Egyptian mummies were gifted with the power of the plagues to punish the people who cursed them. The real plagues, however, were not part of an ancient revenge fantasy.
2. Ananias and Saphira
The story of Ananias and Saphira is in Acts 5:1-11. The story is simple, but easily one of the most horrifying stories in the Bible. And, get ready for this, it is in the New Testament! When the church was in its infancy, it was allowing more and more followers of Jesus into fellowship with the Apostles. A man named Ananias, along with his wife Saphira, sold a piece of property. The fellowship of the Apostles required that the people in their camp share their possessions with one another and to give their money to the mission of Jesus.
Ananias claimed that he had given all of the money from the property he sold to the fellowship, but he actually kept a portion of it, secretly, for himself. Peter realized that Ananias lied against the Holy Spirit. At hearing this from Peter, Ananias fell down and died.
While Ananias' body was being carried away, his wife came into the camp. Peter asked her about the money. She lied, just as her husband had done. Immediately, she fell down and died. The entire community of faith was horrified at hearing the news.