7672 - Rich Fool

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Today we focus upon Luke 12:13-21 in which the Lord reveals the life of a rich fool.

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Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."

Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, `What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' "Then he said, `This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ' "But God said to him, `You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'

"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

Oh friend, let us burn into our minds the principle Jesus conveys: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

That word ‘consist’ expresses the thought of gluing together. The desire is to gain strength and usefulness.

Place this thought in the sentence Jesus emphasizes and we have: “a man’s life is not glued together, or given strength and usefulness by the abundance of his possessions.”

Think for a moment. What gives value to certain objects or property in the world? Does not greed and covetousness play a part?

But God says in chapter 16 (v 15), “What is highly valued among man is detestable in God’s sight.” God’s value system is totally different from the worlds.

To illustrate his point Jesus told a story about a successful farmer whose crops were so abundant that he had no place to store them. It was a perplexing problem; but did you notice there is no thought or mention of sharing his abundance with those around him who were poor and needy? Perhaps you noticed that the rich man expressed no appreciation of God’s blessing with such fruitful crops. Nor was there any mention of tithing his crops, or giving an offering to the Lord’s work.

We begin to understand what Jesus is saying about this man. He was totally focused on self, and how he could indulge his own appetites and desires. God had no place in his life.

The Rich man’s solution was to open more bank accounts, to invest more in the stock market. But be sure, he would guard his investments; because he was retiring. No longer did he have to work. No more sweat and toil. This man was going to take life easy; eat, drink and be merry. He was anticipating pleasure.

The error in this man’s plans is voiced by God: “You fool! You are going to die. Then who will benefit by the abundance which I have bestowed upon you?” Let all take heed. This is the bitter end of anyone who hordes for himself, but is not rich toward God!”

As Jesus talked to the multitude in Matthew (6:19-21) about life he called attention to a wise eternal plan. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

He goes on to tell the people that if they will place first priority upon seeking God’s kingdom and his righteousness in their lives, then the Father will give abundant spiritual blessings, as well as the necessities for life, freely to them, because He knows we need them.