The Parable of the Rich Fool!!!
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”….. Luke 12:16-21
In our last study, we were considering the sharp response Jesus gave to a man who said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”. We see Jesus calling it covetousness and telling us to beware of evaluating our lives with the abundance of things we possess. Today we shall continue by considering a Parable that Jesus told the Multitude to illustrate His response to this Man.
The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully: It is surely not a sin for somebody to plant and to work hard and to produce plentifully. No one desires to make a planting or an investment and does not plan to reap plentifully. Who would want to invest and would not want to have something good come out of it? The ground of that rich man brought forth plentifully. Note with me how the Bible puts it the GROUND not the LAND. If it were just the land, it would have been easier to think may be the man was a farmer. But Jesus was talking of the ground. That ground in our case could be a business. That ground could be your intelligence, your job, Your energy, your time, your connection or your contact that produces contract. The ground of a certain rich man produced plentifully. I could be that certain man today. It could be you! What is that ground in your life that is presently bringing forth plentifully? What is your intelligence, energy, time, job, position, connection, contact, opportunities producing for you right now?!
And he thought within himself : What this man did here was not strange. You may get a contract for example, with a promise that in two weeks’ time your payment will be ready. Then you would start thinking: “what will I do? When I go and pick that cheque of ten million which is just my take away, what do I do? Should I buy a house in London? Should I change my car? What do I do?” Such thoughts usually come quietly and deep in your heart at night; you just suddenly wake up and start smiling. If your wife asks, what happened? You would say, “I am just happy. The struggle of ten years is going to end tomorrow.” And as you are talking you’ll say, “I just got a mail that our partners in U.S. have got through and they are sending that thing. It is going to land here very soon and you know what that mean. That is in hard currency.” If you don’t have money you may not understand what I am talking about here. Wait until some money begins to roll into your hand; then you will have great difficulty, on how to spend it. It is because some people could not think well on how to spend it, you see them being foolish. So, the ground of this man brought forth plentifully and he thought within himself. Please note that… “He thought within himself.” This is it. You don’t think it out because you are afraid. If you talk aloud now and say that ten million is coming, before you know it, some thieves are knocking at your door demanding for the money. So you don’t say it aloud. Many rich people don’t even eat well because of fear. Ask them how things are and they will tell you that there’s no money; we are still looking up. But they are thinking within, “What do I do? Should I build an underground?” They would call an architect to bring them one of their best designs, an edifice, and the best in town.
Let’s not think that the Lord is speaking here to someone else. Allow this mirror of the word of God to reflect back to us our own lives. You may not be stingingly rich, but, are you free from covetousness in the light of what Jesus is saying here? What are your plans over the plentiful that your ground has brought forth? What you are acquiring and accumulating with these proceeds from the ground of your life, are they making you rich towards God?
Saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ : The rich man’s problem was where to store his goods. He thought and analyzed his difficulty: finally, he came to a conclusion. I wonder what my conclusion would have been. You too, what conclusion would you have reached in your case? It is this quiet conclusion that usually forms the basis of the outward manifestations of our action. This quiet conclusion normally determines our choice, our focus and our direction in life. The rich man in the Bible said, “This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.” In barns and not in people; not in heaven but in barns. That barn could mean anything. For some, civilization will not allow them to start building barns so they keep their goods in banks. Some would however say, Bank? No, I don’t like banks. Their interest is too small and there could be inflation. I want to put my goods in shares, so that even in ten years’ time, when I would have retired, when the economy would have changed, that is the solid quiet money that would be coming in. I would just relax, sit down and cross my legs and enjoy myself while money comes in. So, the barns could be shares, banks or property development or it could be investing in solid minerals. Some will look for asset that appreciates with years. Some will say, “Let’s invest in a name. Let’s buy that company off the market, so that we can collect their name.” That name could be a barn.
Where am I investing my life? Where am I investing my intelligent and my ability? We need to find out what the pursuit of our lives are. Do I quietly desire to possess all that I will need tomorrow, today so that I can secure my future? Look at what the man said, “I will say to my soul, Soul…” When we read it, it appears as if it is not real. Excuse me; don’t you think it is real? Don’t you think these are the kinds of thoughts that have crossed our minds many times? Several things that many of us have done are along this line. That is why you will hear some people say, “…if the government decides to be foolish, I will never be poor again.” The reason is because they believed they have secured their future and so nothing can shake them. “I will say to my soul: enough of running around. You have much goods laid up for many years,” the man seem to say. Let’s face this fact frankly; how many people are not working in order to have something laid up for many years? What actually is the issue pushing many people up and down? Is it not the desire to have some certain things laid up for many years? As I say this you may be tempted to think that it applies to businessmen only; so you may excuse yourself because you are not a business man. Even you that is a civil servant, what is the reason why you have not resigned despite your complains against how the government is treating workers? What is your thought? Are you not probably saying, quietly in your heart, “Let me just clock thirty years in service so that my gratuity – the reward of working for many years – will increase? You that you are a student, what is the motive behind all your all night reading? Is not to accumulate certificate to secure your future?
Why do even Pastors sit tight over their churches, inscribing their names, the names of their wives and their children on the properties- the corporate properties of the church? It is because of the fear of tomorrow. They are quietly thinking, how can I lay my life down in a ministry like this and somebody will just come tomorrow and push me out and my children will have nothing. No! Let’s entrench my name in it. This is the same conclusion, they are but goods laid up for many years. It is for this reason that Jesus said, “beware of covetousness”. It is capable of killing one. It can make one lose one soul and end up in hell where you never planned. The weight of these instructions is enough to again cause my heart to bow in God’s presence, seeking His divine enablement to escape this hidden pit that may have swallowed many who went ahead of me. None of them ever hoped to end their pilgrim journey where and how they ended but covetousness, who never always come as such, overtook them when they least expected.
But God said to him, ‘Fool! : If we were to assess that man according to his status among his colleagues, classmates or competitors, what would we have called him? We would call him a genius, an economic genius. But God called him a fool. Think about it. Let us ask ourselves again, what does God call me?! Perhaps you have a very wonderful reputation. People introduce you as Professor so and so and then list out all your achievements and that is actually all you spent your life doing. You spend all your life in the laboratory, just to be called a Professor; but outside the laboratory your life means nothing. What does God call you, Prof? God call that man a fool. Will He say concerning you…, “Look at this fool. I lent him sixty years. He spent fifty-nine of it pursuing paper, ordinary paper qualification and, pursuing fame with men; but he has no record with Me. What a fool! I gave this man intelligence; he has never sat down one day to ask, ‘God, what do I do with the ground of my intelligence that has brought forth plentifully?’ Rather he sat down to plan to possess the tomorrow that may never be his.”
Sister, what thought is going on in your heart now? Brother, what conclusion are you about to make? You are at the critical junction of marriage. The ground of your intelligence has landed you with what men interpret as a bright future. Or maybe the ground of your beauty, prospect, background or academic achievement has brought forth many suitors clamoring all around you and there are so many marriage proposals that you are presently sorting out within yourself. What and who is guiding the conclusion that you have or are almost arriving at? Under whose counsel are you zeroing in on that brother or that sister as the right partner for your Christian journey here on earth? Who told you that that is the will of God for your life? What will God call you by the reason of that choice?
May be for you, you are concluding on calling a quit to your marriage because you think (within yourself) you have tried all you could and it doesn’t seem as if it can ever work. On what strength are you standing to conclude and are ready to implement your decision? Hope it is not because of what the ground of your life seem to have brought forth? Hope it is not what you have laid up for many years that is making you to think and conclude within yourself that you can do without this man or this woman; after all, ‘What is he or she contributing to my life’, you said.
This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ : God’s question to this man is what many have not been able to answer yet. Frankly speaking, there are things which even when a man put together as a heap, none of his children can carry any of them and make use of it. Which of the academic certificates or honorary doctorate award conferred on a man can his child use to get a job? Your child cannot present one of those and say, “Please, my father actually got this professorial award, but ever before he enjoyed it he died. Please confer it on me on his behalf.” It does not happen like that. Even in contemporary history, no body becomes really great only because of what his father left for him. Many rich men spend their lives building houses; God keeps asking them, “Whose shall all these houses be?” Eventually, it will be for rats, reptiles and careless children. What you took serious care to build in your life time; careless children come into the same house and mess it up anyhow. I wished dead men were allowed to wake up and inspect their houses; they would have collapsed and died a second time.
Everything a man essentially becomes in life is what he is in himself. If your child is not intelligent, all that your intelligent has put together in this world, (give it a few years) will spoil and finished. This is because, that child does not have that intelligent in himself and he does not have what it takes to maintain it. I wish it will be clear to everyone that you cannot live your life for the next generation. This question, must, need be answered: whose, shall those things be which you have provided provided? Who will possess them? Who are you sure will use them? Who has assured you that it is that same child you are labouring for that will possess them?
So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.: Stock taking is a crucial part of every business that must thrive. So is it with the Christian life. Even if you choose not to be a Christian, this does not exempt you from taking stock of how you have been living your life daily within the short time we are to spend on this side of eternity. How rich am I towards God? And you, how rich are you towards God? Can you also take stock of your life even now? May be you are sixty years or thirty years or even Fifteen years, How much of those years have you invested for heaven? Just think about it. Thirty years, you have always been a student, collecting papers and because of this, you have no time to be useful to God. When anybody calls you for Bible Study or Soul-winning, you refuse. Your excuse has always been that you are busy. You say you are doing something so that you will be comfortable tomorrow. Are you not a fool? This past years that you have been alive, you are yet to spend even one year to do anything for Jesus. You have money both in the bank and at home. Some people may even be so careless that their wives don’t know their bank account. If you are like that, if you die now other people will collect your money and your children will suffer. Aren’t you a fool? The reason why I am raising this matter is because Jesus raised it, and it has delivered me from being foolish. Whatever decision must be made should be made now. If you do not invest in people, in salvation of souls and in eternity, what are you investing your life on? The many houses that some of us have built, how many of them do we sleep in at the same time? Oh how I wish you will say to the Lord, “Lord, I know how many years I am today. I don’t even know how many years are remaining for me here on earth. I want to invest whatever is remaining in eternal things. Please give me opportunity, open an account for me in heaven, and let my life not be a waste. Help me to do all I could, while I am yet able, to be rich towards you. I don’t want to live my life serving money and other interests. I would not want to spend my life on ordinary politics if it is not to establish God’s kingdom here on earth.
Dear Friend, Has God blessed you? Are you very intelligent? Has God allow this ground in your life to bring forth plentifully? How rich are you even in this towards God? You may even be one of the top men in your profession; what will you do with it? How much are you achieving for Jesus out of this, thereby making yourself rich towards God? A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of those things which he possesses. The owner of this life we are presently living may request for it any time. So shall it be for anyone who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich towards God. This is yet another chance for us to change our state towards God. For we are either, ‘Wise and rich towards God’ or ‘A fool and wretched’, as far as eternity is concern; choose yours!!! May the Lord give us the Grace to choose wisely(Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus.