Luke 12:16-21 He spoke a parable to them, saying, "The ground of
a certain rich man brought forth abundantly. He reasoned within himself,
saying, ‘What will I do, because I don’t have room to store my crops?’
He said, ‘This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns, and build
bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. I will tell
my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease,
eat, drink, be merry."‘ "But God said to him, ‘You foolish one, tonight
your soul is required of you. The things which you have prepared—whose
will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich
toward God." (web)
What was wrong about the rich man's attitude?
When you have extra time, money, or resources, what do you tend to
spend them on?
What would you do if you were rich? Are you rich?
Have you thought about retirement?
What should our ideal purpose in life be?
What does it mean to be rich toward God?
Notice Jesus attributes the good crop not directly to the rich man but
to the ground. The rich man did not produce the good crop, the ground did.
When people are successful they are quick to congratulate themselves and
attribute their success solely to themselves. But they are much more subject
to circumstances and "luck" then they may admit.
(By "luck", I am not leaving God out of the picture, for it is written:
"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD."Prov
16:33 God determines the outcome of every particular stochastic event)
The rich man did not view himself as a servant of God, nor his resources
as responsibilities entrusted to him by God. Rather he viewed himself as
the one being served, and his resources as toys to play with. This is an
attitude of greedy covetousness, which is quite common among the rich,
who make it their goal to retire and take it easy, or to do whatever satisfies
their passions. But the more we have, the more we will be held responsible
for. To be rich toward God is not to be poor in material things, but rather
to use what resources God has entrusted to us to the furtherance of His
Although I don't know the statistics on the matter, I've also heard
that it is quite typical for people to die soon after retirement if they
lose a sense of purpose and usefulness in life. For we were made to be
servants - as Christ was in his human form. And when we depart from that
purpose, we lose our life.
"And he died for all, that those who live should no longer
live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."
A rich man's field produced a big gain
But what would he do with all that grain?
"I have no place to store my crops."
I filled my barns all the way to their tops.
I'll tear them down and build ones bigger
And then retire while I still have vigor
I'll take life easy and bask by the pool
But God said to him, "You are a fool!
Tonight you'll die, you'll go on the shelf
Then who will get what you prepared for yourself?"
So it will be for those who hoard
Things for themselves but not for the Lord