Rich Fool


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The Parable of the Rich Fool

    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 of you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?"

    This is how it will be for anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God. -- Luke 12:16-21

The context of this parable has to do with an individual who asked Christ to mediate between himself and his brother in a matter having to do with a family inheritance, which was not at all why Christ came to earth.

"Who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" asked Jesus, who then admonished the man: "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

This is the principle illustrated in the parable.

The rich man's possessions

  • Affluent
  • Rich
  • Prosperous

The rich man's anxieties

  • Anxieties are generally found in proportion to the amount of our earthly possessions
    • "What shall I do?"
      • He didn't consider selling it
      • He didn't consider giving it to the poor
      • His only consideration was to stock it away for himself
    • Refers to no authority but himself

The rich man's determination

"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."

  • He determines to accumulate it
  • Self confident, with no reference to God
  • Counts his riches as joy
  • Presumes that he will live a long life


A sudden conclusion

Reading the parable, we might assume that the rich man is having this conversation with himself while in bed. Having resolved his problem in his own mind, he is probably thinking of sleep.

  • Disturbed by the voice of God
    • "You fool!"
    • God may have spoken to him through a sudden infliction, such as a heart attack
  • Everything changed
  • A sudden end
    • "This very night your life will be demanded of you."
  • Eternal ruin of his soul
    • He had lived life as a means to its own end
    • He had neglected his soul and eternal things

Application of the parable

  • Compare Ecclesiastes 8:15
    • Was this good advice?
  • Work for those things which are eternal

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