Dishonest Scales and Profiteering

The Lord detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.

  • Proverbs 11:1

The Lord detests differing weights, and dishonest scalesdo not please him.

  • Proverbs 20:23

The merchant uses dishonest scalesand loves to defraud.

  • Hosea 12:7

“In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!”
Hear this, you who trample the needy
    and do away with the poor of the land,
saying,
“When will the New Moon be over
    that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
    that we may market wheat?”—
skimping on the measure,
    boosting the price
    and cheating with dishonest scales,
buying the poor with silver
    and the needy for a pair of sandals,
    selling even the sweepings with the wheat.

  • Amos 8:3-6

Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights?

  • Micah 6:11

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I went to the fancy steak store that prides themselves on quality steaks.  I am so glad they advertise so much about how wonderful their steaks are, because when you open the big box to see four tiny pieces of meat filling less than half the box, each individually shrink-wrapped, you think you just paid their exorbitant price for a box.

But you get quality!  Right!?!

We went into the store because Valentine’s Day was the next day.  It was also dialysis day for my wife.  When she gets home, she barely has enough energy to walk to the bed and collapse.  But she does have enough energy to call me a few hours later and ask what I have cooked for our evening meal.

She thought ahead.  The day before, she felt sufficiently energized to go to this fancy steak store.  The clerk gave her the sales pitch, knowing I would not be listening, but I heard her say “Chateaubriand.”  That caused me to remember our courting.  When my wife and I first went from the Beaumont – Port Arthur area of Texas to have a day of shopping and fun in Houston, Texas, our evening meal was planned for a restaurant on the west side of the city, on a little hill (Houston being mostly flat).  We scanned through the menu and we landed on Chateaubriand for two.  We went to Houston to this restaurant several times and almost always got the Chateaubriand, varying on the sides, and appetizers.  Almost every time, we had Fresh Strawberries Romanov for our dissert, basically a strawberry milk shake with vodka, triple sec, and Grand Marnier added.

The total bill, including all the trimmings was about $45, a king’s ransom about 50 years ago.  The steak was much less than half the cost of the meal, considering the bottle of wine, appetizers, and dessert (made fresh at the table).  But I had the disposable cash at the time, and they supplied a double portion of all the sides since we were sharing the meal.  Sorry, the restaurant is now “permanently closed” according to the Internet.

My salary over the forty years of my career increased sevenfold.  So, I would expect this delightful dinner for two to be considerably more expensive these days.

I took this trip down memory lane to explain why my stomach turned at the fancy steak store.  The Chateaubriand, raw, three pounds worth, was $398.  Sale price.  It was not served cooked to order.  It was not served with an appetizer, a bottle of wine during the meal and a mixed-drink strawberry shake for dessert.  A violinist did not come by the table.  No!  You took that home and you had to cook it yourself.

For a better analogy, I looked at Filet Mignon.  Their price was $69 for four six-ounce filets.  Again, sale price.  Buy now before the price goes up!!!!  I whispered to my wife, “We could go to a restaurant with all the trimmings and not pay that much!”

My wife whispered in return, “But you know we will never get a reservation at a restaurant this late!”

I replied, “I am just comparing prices.”

We went to the wholesale warehouse store a few blocks away without getting anything at the fancy steak store.  We love the steaks at the wholesale place, never having a poor quality steak in anything we have purchased.  I bought four nine ounce filet mignon steaks for two thirds the price.  In other words, per ounce I paid less than half.  Is the quality so much different that the price is more than twice as expensive?  At least in this analogy, I am comparing two cases of raw meat, not raw meat versus restaurant with all the trimmings plus ambiance.

I am well aware of the fact that the price of everything over the past fifty years has increased a lot more than the sevenfold increase in pay.  Since pay rates have not kept up with inflation across the board, I cannot see how anyone can afford to buy a house or an expensive luxury car.  As the old television advertisement admitted, the guy says, “I am in debt up to my eyeballs!”

Rev. David Robertson lamented as we entered the 2020 COVID lockdowns and mask mandates that as soon as governments realize that we will give up freedom based on fear tactics, the governments will never relinquish those controls.  While the masks are no longer mandatory, the CDC (Center for Disease Control in the USA) still suggests the masks be worn.  A lot of people still wear their masks, in fear.

But there should have been other warnings.  When the eventual “back to normal” started there was an immediate “supply-chain crisis.”  Prices sky-rocketed to cover the added expense of getting goods from one place to another.  What expense?!?!  I think for the most part it is planned profiteering to cover for their 2020 lockdown losses.  And like the Pennsylvania turnpike became a toll road to pay for the Johnstown Flood of 1889, the flood was paid for decades ago, but the toll road still charges a lot of money to pay for the “administration of the toll road.”

So, artificially inflated prices due to the Supply-Chain Scam (on the back of the Supply-Chain Crisis) will never go back down once those profiting have become stinking rich on the backs of the poor people who just wanted hash browns for breakfast.

Hash browns are not used as a random example.  Our son in Tennessee cannot find them in the stores, any of the stores, but we have them by the bucket load here in Pennsylvania.  Supply-Chain?  Or artificially creating a problem that does not really exist to harm the poor and make someone behind the scenes rich.

I have no proof, but it smells quite fishy.

But God knows who is behind this and who it is hurting and God does not like it at all.  Dishonest scales could translate into increased prices, even hinted in the Amos Scripture above.  Dishonest weights, the same thing.  The five references to dishonest scales in the NIV are all quoted above.  But even these dishonest practices were prophesied thousands of years ago.  Maybe this is one more sign that Jesus may be coming soon.  There is no one, seemingly, that thinks what is going on is morally wrong – just good business to make more profit.

Dear Lord, hear our plea.  So many of us are on a fixed income and the prices keep going up.  Sure, a filet mignon is not necessary, although my wife needs to eat more protein with her kidney failure, but when Valentine’s Day and your wedding anniversary are in the same month, you want a little glimpse of what we once had.  In Thy Name we pray.  Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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