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According to experts, legitimate businesses lose as much as $250 billion a year because of product counterfeiting, not mention the death and danger such fake products cause, or the economic loss it inflicts on the economy. Yet exploiting others for sake of economic gain is not new. Long ago, God condemned and punished ancient Israelites for doing the same thing. We read in Amos chapter 8, “Then the Sovereign Lord showed me another vision. In it I saw a basket filled with ripe fruit. ‘What do you see, Amos?’ he asked. I replied, ‘A basket full of ripe fruit.’ Then the Lord said, ‘Like this fruit, Israel is ripe for punishment! I will not delay their punishment again. In that day the singing in the Temple will turn to wailing. Dead bodies will be scattered everywhere. They will be carried out of the city in silence. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!’ Listen to this, you who rob the poor and trample down the needy! You can’t wait for the Sabbath day to be over and the religious festivals to end so you can get back to cheating the helpless. You measure out grain with dishonest measures and cheat the buyer with dishonest scales. And you mix the grain you sell with chaff swept from the floor. Then you enslave poor people for one piece of silver or a pair of sandals.” Still today, God holds accountable those who cheat, rip off the poor, and take advantage of the unsuspecting.

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