We order food from the food bank for our food pantry. It is high risk high reward endeavor, and with risk sometimes comes failure. I understand when I order it that sometimes I get a deal and sometimes I get a dud. The reason is that I am never quite certain what I am getting. There are no pictures and sometimes the description is deceiving. For example, this month I ordered 210 pound of Italian Sausage. We picked it up Wednesday. This morning I took some of the Italian Sausage out of the freezer to see exactly what I was dealing with. We have a food distribution next Friday. When I ordered it I thought I was getting Italian Sausages like those pictured. It turns out it is ground up, like you would use for sausage gravy. I thought that would still be OK. However, this morning I did some further investigating. It turns out the box is labeled, “Italian Sausage Style Seitan” I did not know what that meant, so I looked it up. Do you know what it means? It means it is NOT Italian sausage. It is made of wheat and it is a vegan imitation sausage. It is not what was advertised. So I have 210 pound of fake meat. Now, one or two of you might be thinking “jackpot”, but can assure you that the people who come to the food pantry would not be thrilled with the prospect of vegan sausage. Not to mention if anyone had to eat gluten-free and we ended up giving them gluten fake sausage without their knowledge. If you know a vegan, send them our way.
Now before anyone thinks it is a waste of food pantry money to order this way, I must tell you that it was less than $40 for the fake sausage, 19 cents a pound. We did not lose a bundle. And it is rare that we get anything that I think is a complete waste of money. We more than make up for it with all the great deals we get. I have a whole bunch of ground beef coming next month at 19 cents a pound… Lord, in Your mercy, please make sure it is real ground beef!
What is the Bible lesson here? Uncertainty? Stewardship? What comes to my mind is the word counterfeit, as in the sausage is counterfeit. I remember some notes from my Bible from a sermon I heard once about the devil counterfeiting God’s truths. I also remember hearing about people who are experts in detecting counterfeit money. They become experts by studying real money. Then it is easy for them to spot the counterfeit. We live in a world where the devil has duped people into accepting counterfeits of God’s gifts. It is happening everywhere. Marriage is God’s gift. The devil has a counterfeit. Salvation is God’s gift. The devil has a counterfeit. The devil even has counterfeit gods! How do we overcome the counterfeits? We study the real. We study the truth of God’s Word. We quit calling things that are obviously not of God, things of God. We quit affirming and blessing the devil’s counterfeits.