The Man God called a Fool-The Parable of the Rich Fool Part 2 of 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Secondly, We Are Fools When We Make Plans But Leave God Out. (vv. 17-18)
Let’s reread verses 17 and 18: "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.” There was nothing wrong with his desire to build more barns; it was both wise and sensible. The problem lays in the fact that there is no thought of sharing. We can see his way of thinking in the words he chose; he uses the pronoun “I” five times and “my” four times.
Notice how he says my crops, my barns, my goods. He is confused between ownership and stewardship. He forgot that he was not the owner but only the possessor and the steward. All that, had belonged to God. It’s the same with us; it is not ours to own, it is ours on loan. We Are Fools When We Make Plans But Leave God Out And…
Third, We Are Fools When We Live Only For the Moment. (v. 19)
That’s what this man was doing, and it says in verse 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.” In this verse, although he addresses himself as “soul”, it is his physical life that he is really concerned about. This man thought that when he put his plan into being that he would have it made for years to come. But all of this is based on the fact that this man expected to control the fate of future crops. He imagines the future as continually getting better, and under his control. But nothing could be further from the truth. The book of James speaks to just such an attitude (4:13-16) when he says, “Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; (14) whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. (15) Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."(16) But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”
The Bible does not discourage us from looking to the future with great expectation. However, as we make our plans, whether in business, in relationships or in our personal lives, we are to do so from the perspective that ultimately God is in charge. In other words, we need to plan with humility. I wonder what this says about our American concept of retirement. I am not against retirement, since I am living in retirement now. But perhaps God would have us to look at it differently; perhaps to see it as a time when we have more free income and greater time on our hands than ever before to do something for the kingdom of God. We Are Fools When We Live Only For the Moment And…
Fourth, We Are Fools When We Store Our Treasure In The Wrong Places.(v. 20)
Verse 20 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?”
According to Scripture, a fool is a man who leaves God out of any consideration. Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” This man is a fool, not because he expressed this thought, but because he has lived his life as if God did not exist. He is a fool in that he did not recognize that his material blessings came from God, nor did he recognize any obligation to God in the use of his possessions.
Fools leave God out of their lives. Let me illustrate what I mean with a story I read. George W. Truett, a well-known pastor, was invited to dinner in the home of a very wealthy man in Texas. After the meal, the host led him to a place where they could get
a good view of the surrounding area. Pointing to the oil wells punctuating the landscape, he boasted, “Twenty-five years ago I had nothing. Now, as far as you can see, it’s all mine.” Looking in the opposite direction at his sprawling fields of grain, he said, “That’s all mine.” Turning east toward huge herds of cattle, he bragged, “They’re all mine.” Then pointing to the west and a beautiful forest, he exclaimed, “That too is all mine.” He paused, expecting Dr. Truett to compliment him on his great success. Truett, however, placing one hand on the man’s shoulder and pointing heavenward with the other, simply said, “How much do you have in that direction?” The man hung his head and confessed, “I never thought of that.” David Gooding said this in his commentary on Luke, “Heaven is scarcely a reality to a man who is not prepared to invest hard cash in it and in its interests; but by the same token it becomes more of a reality to the man who is willing!”
To be a fool is to have missed the point of life. Jesus says, “this very night your soul will be demanded of you.” The Greek word translated “required” or “demanded” is literally a commercial term meaning “to demand back or require back” - conveying the idea of life as a loan that must be repaid to God upon demand. He goes on in the second half of verse twenty to say, “Then whose will those things be which you have provided?”
Long before, the great philosopher Solomon made a comment on this very problem in Eccles. 2:21-23. “For though I do my work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, I must leave everything I gain to people who haven’t worked to earn it. This is not only foolish but highly unfair. (22) So what do people get for all their hard work? (23) Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night they cannot rest. It is all utterly meaningless.” (New Living Translation)
Since you cannot take it with you, there is no need to wear ourselves out accumulating it. Everything you have will one day be left behind. It is yours now to use or to abuse, but one day it will be taken from you and you will stand before the Lord and give an account of how you used it. Jim Elliot, a missionary who was killed by the Auca Indians to whom he went to minister, stated it well when he said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose.” We Are Fools When We Store Our Treasure In The Wrong Places And…
Fifth, We Are Fools When We Will Find Ourselves In Conflict With God’s Plan For Our Lives. (v. 21)
In verse 21 it says about the foolish man, "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
Riches have one major weakness; they have no purchasing power after death. The “rich towards God” are those who use what God has given them for others. There are numerous examples in Scripture. People such as the centurion who build a synagogue for the people to worship in, and the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus where Jesus often found rest were rich toward God. The way we become rich towards God is to invest in His church and in the lives of His people. But don’t misunderstand me; it is not that the church needs your resources in order to survive, but that generosity will add a richness to your life that you would otherwise miss.
1. We Are Fools When We Do Not Give God The Credit For Things He Has Done.
2. We Are Fools When We Make Plans But Leave God Out.
3. We Are Fools When We Live Only For the Moment.
4. We Are Fools When We Store Our Treasure In The Wrong Places.
5. We Are Fools When We Will Find Ourselves In Conflict With God’s Plan For Our Lives.
But remember, we are rich toward God, when we invest our time, talents and money in the kingdom of God. But first you must be a member of the Kingdom, and the way to do that is to believe in God’s Son.