“Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:5 NKJV).

           

While the Lord Jesus was teaching the multitude, one man from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But the Lord Jesus sharply responded, saying, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:13-15 NKJV).

The Lord Jesus further gave a parable about a certain rich but foolish man to warn us against covetousness and deceitfulness of riches. It is wisdom for us to pay a close attention to Jesus’ warning that we should beware of covetousness or deceitfulness of riches!

The Lord’s parable about the rich fool is presented in Luke 12:

 16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.

 17 “And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’

 18 “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.

 19 ‘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.”‘

 20 “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?’

 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (NKJV).

The Scripture clearly teaches that God gives good things to His children liberally or generously to enjoy and share with others. God delights in you having abundance of every good thing.

The Scripture testifies: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Cor. 9:8 NKJV).

Undoubtedly, God is not against the rich man in the parable from having abundance or plenty. It was God who blessed and caused his ground to yield plentifully.

The Psalmist testifies: “O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own.” (1 Chro. 29:16 NKJV).

Why then was God displeased with the man He has blessed with abundance?

Let us explore the parable!

First, this rich man failed to acknowledge God as the source of his blessing.

When the man’s ground yielded plentifully, he failed to acknowledge God as the source or giver of the blessing or the abundance he had received. Rather, he attributed the blessing to his wisdom, power or self-effort. Therefore, he said to his soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” (Luke 12:19 NKJV).

The Scripture clearly states that: “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.” (John 3:27 NKJV).

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (Jam 1:17 NKJV).

“The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” (Prov. 10:22 NKJV).

“For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Cor. 4:7 NKJV).

Like this rich fool, when you fail to acknowledge, recognize or admit that all that you have or possess in life is a gift from God; your soul will be puffed up and you will be boastful, haughty, arrogant and ungrateful to God for His blessings.

Sadly, there are still many rich but foolish men and women in the world today who don’t acknowledge God as their source and appreciate God for the blessings He has given them.

Second, this rich man didn’t recognize that he was a mere steward of God’s resources.

This rich but foolish man in the parable erroneously regarded himself as the proud owner of what God had entrusted to his care. He failed to see himself a steward of God’s resources or blessings. Therefore, he would not consult or look up to God for instructions on what to do with the abundance God had blessed him with.

Rather, the man drew up his own selfish plan on what to do with God’s blessings. In his foolishness, the man 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.” (Luke 12:17-21 NKJV).

How mistaken he was!

He died without tasting from the harvest!

Sadly, there are also many rich but foolish people in the world and even among the believers today who are ignorantly lavishing, wasting or consuming God’s resources upon themselves because they don’t know that they are not the real owners but mere stewards of what they possess.

As God’s steward, it is expected of you to consult, look up to, or seek for instructions from God on how to spend, invest, share or distribute His resources entrusted to your care.

Third, this rich man put his complete trust or confidence in his riches or abundance.

Not only did this rich fool in the parable fail to acknowledge God as the real source and owner of the plenty harvest his ground yielded and see himself as a mere steward or manager of God’s resources, he also chose to repose or place his trust or confidence in his abundant possessions and not in the living God.

He trusted in his riches and not in God for long-life, peace, joy, comfort and a secure future. Therefore, he said to his soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” (Luke 12:19 NKJV).

How mistaken he was!

The Scripture says, “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 NKJV).

It is deceitfulness of riches to think that money is the almighty solution to all your problems. It is only a fool who thinks that simply having riches guarantees peace, joy, or long life in this evil world. The Scripture warns that riches offer no insulation or protection from the troubles and distresses of life (Job 36:19).

The Scripture warns: “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” (Prov. 11:4 NKJV).

“For riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations.” (Prov. 27:24 NKJV).

“He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.” (Prov. 11:28 NKJV). 

“Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” (Prov. 23:5 NKJV).

Apostle Paul also warns the believers who are rich in material possessions against trusting in uncertain riches.

Paul instructed Timothy to: “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Tim. 6:17-19 NKJV).

Fourth, this rich man didn’t know God’s purpose for blessing him with abundance.

This rich but foolish man didn’t know God’s purposes for blessing him with a plenty harvest or abundance. He erroneously concluded that the abundance was only for his personal or selfish enjoyment. Apparently, he didn’t know that God blessed him with much abundance not just for his sake but also for the sake of the poor and the needy around him.

He was blessed so that he could have sufficiency for himself and his family and also have abundance to share and distribute to the widows, orphans and the poor. Sadly, he thought God’s blessing was meant only for himself, to consume upon his lusts. This is why his only plan was to store up his plentiful harvest only for his selfish enjoyment, to gratify or indulge his soul.

He said to himself, “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.” (Luke 12:18-20 NKJV).

Beloved, it is sheer ignorance or foolishness to think that God blesses you just only for your sake or for your selfish enjoyment. The Scripture clearly teaches that God blesses or entrusts His resources to our care for the expansion of His Kingdom on the earth and also for every good work(1 Tim. 6:17-19).

The Scripture states: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Cor. 9:8 NKJV).

“You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God; for the rendering of this service not only supplies the wants of the saints but also overflows in many thanksgivings to God.” (2 Cor. 9:11-12 RSV).

Therefore, “be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Tim. 6:18-19 NKJV).

 

Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I acknowledge, recognize and appreciate You as the Source, Giver and Owner of all that I have. Holy Spirit, help and teach me daily to be a faithful steward of God’s resources entrusted to my care, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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