MONDAY, OCTOBER 11
A man named Simon had been a sorcerer there for many years,
amazing the people of Samaria and claiming to be someone great.
Acts 8:9 (NLT)
TRUE FAITH: COUNTERFEITS
Several years ago in Kentucky, a man walked into a Dairy Queen, placed his order and then paid for it with a $200 bill. The cashier gave him $198 in change, and he drove away. Sometime later in the day, the manager noticed that something didn’t seem right about this $200 bill, maybe because it had a picture of then-president George Bush on one side or maybe it was the picture of the Whitehouse on the back with an oil well in front and funny signs in the lawn. Police were able to track down the man and he was arrested for theft by deception. (Chip Blackshear)
In Acts 8:9, Simon the sorcerer was a counterfeit. Any good counterfeit closely resembles the real thing. Simon was a charismatic guy who amazed people with his magic, and some believed he was sent from God. Someone said to picture a cross between David Copperfield and Tony Robbins. Magic was a significant form of religious expression in the ancient world. This guy was wowing people but wasn’t from God.
Warren Wiersbe comments that “It is a basic principle in Scripture that wherever God sows His true believers, Satan will eventually sow his counterfeits…The enemy comes as a lion to devour, and when that approach fails, he comes as a serpent to deceive. Satan’s tool in this case was a sorcerer named Simon.” (Bible Exposition Commentary)
What we see here is a battle between two kingdoms for the souls of the people. As we look around the cultural landscape today, we see a wide variety of spiritual practices that do not please God. What are some tools you use to help you discern whether something is from God or a counterfeit even though it claims to be from God?
Thank God for giving us His Word as a source of truth and a way to expose lies. Thank God for the authentic leaders in your life who consistently point you to God’s truth.