September 3, 2008
Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." Genesis 3:12
The old bait and switch.
The old bait and switch was what two teenage girls discovered was happening in some of New York's restaurants and fish stores.
Using DNA bar coding, these girls discovered that some very inexpensive fish was being labeled and sold at prices ordinarily commanded only by the more expensive varieties of seafood.
To advertise and sell a cheap product in the place of an expensive good product, that's the old bait and switch. It was a practice the girls found occurring at half the restaurants and six out of ten grocery stores they tested.
Now, I'm not a lover of sushi, but that's still not right.
To paraphrase what Eve said to the Lord might put it in perspective: the places where I buy my food deceived me, and I ate.
Of course, bait and switch is nothing new. Right from the fall of humankind, the devil and the world have tried to pawn off shoddy products for the real thing.
In the Garden of Eden, Satan suggested his wisdom was better than the Lord's. To the children of Israel, he said slavery is better than freedom under God. To Judas, he whispered 30 pieces of silver were of greater value than Jesus' life.
Truly, each of us have fallen victim to the bait-and-switch strategy of the devil. Most of us, if we're eventually brought to that point where we see things with repentant eyes, recognize that God tells the truth and the devil has truly earned the name, "father of lies" (John 8:44).
When Jesus said He is the only way to heaven (John 14:6), He was telling the truth. Yes, the world would have you believe there are many roads, many paths, many saviors who will take you to heaven, but they are just using the old bait and switch.
Their roads and paths all lead to a dead end. Their saviors all are charlatans - - counterfeits to the last.
Now, if you were upset and angered by stores pawning off cheap dead fish for expensive ones, I would encourage that same outrage be directed against the devil and the world's bait and switch.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus You are the one and only Savior. May I see clearly when Satan tries to deceive and when the world wishes to substitute a shoddy product in Your place. Send Your Holy Spirit so I may be proven faithful. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries