The parable about the rich fool described in Luke 12:13-21 contains a warning to each of us, and it is this:Don’t come to the end of your life only to find out that you have wasted it on things that count for nothing in eternity!
The rich farmer had a thriving farming business, and because he did not have enough storage space, he had to build bigger barns.
Isn’t this what we are all encouraged to strive for? To work hard and save for the future?
This farmer is not a fool because he was wealthy or because he saved for the future, but because he failed to plan for one very important event and that is his reckoning with God. He appeared to live for himself and believed that he could secure his life with his abundant possessions.
In verses 17-19, the rich man used “I” six times and “my” five times. His attention was solely on himself. The “I’s” and “my’s” show that he was aggressively self- centred.
The rich man learnt the hard way what the writer of Ecclesiastes realised- that you cannot take all your possessions with you. All that we work so hard for will end up in someone else’s hands:
Who knows whether they will be wise or foolish? Yet they will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity.
The rich farmer was a fool and made several mistakes:
1. He thought that he was the owner of all his possessions, when he was just a steward or custodian.
2. He was worried about the present and forgot about eternity.
3. He treasured his possessions more than people.
4. He failed to make provisions for his soul and thereby lost his soul.
The rich man’s philosophy was eating, drinking and being merry! Nothing is wrong with this philosophy, if there is no GOD and if there is no resurrection from the dead.
That is why the apostle Paul says in If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
But there is a God who created the heavens and earth.
The Bible declares that because Jesus rose from the dead, the dead in Christ will be resurrected.
(1 Thess. 4:13-18)
The fool says in his heart, “there is no God.
As there is a God and there is a resurrection, the philosophy of the rich farmer to “eat, drink and be merry” was a fatal philosophy.
But God said to him, you fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?
This is the greatest nightmare of all materialists. Someone else gets it all when we die.
Friends, like the rich farmer, we are tempted to think that having large amounts of wealth will make us secure.
No amount of wealth can protect us from terminal diseases, a tragic accident, keeping our relationships healthy and from families falling apart.
Most importantly, no amount of wealth can secure our lives with God. Jesus repeatedly warns that wealth can get in the way of our relationship with God.
Take care, be on the guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.
God wants us to realise where true security lies. So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich towards God
We are warned not to lay up treasure on earth. We are asked to be ‘rich towards God.’
What do we mean by “rich towards God?” The meaning is plain from the contrast;
1. It is the opposite of laying up earthly treasure for yourself.
2. It is the opposite of treating ourselves as though we were made for wealth and possessions and not for God
3. It is the opposite of acting as if life consisted of the abundance of possessions and not in the abundance of knowing God.
4. It means counting God richer than anything on this earth.
5. It means using earthly riches to show how much you value God.
Lay not up treasures on earth, but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt, and where thieves don’t break through and steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.
If you give your time, your energy, your resources to God and invest it in His kingdom, you would be rich towards God and your riches will be there to welcome you, and you can spend all eternity enjoying the fruit of that generosity.
Jesus also said; Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
In other words, the movement of your money signifies the movement of your heart.
Am I rich towards God or am I wasting my life?