Parable of the Rich Fool by Eddie Foster

Luke 12:13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he 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. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Jesus was speaking to a large crowd.  Verse 1 says it was an “innumerable multitude.”  The first part is about hypocrisy. We need to remember that our walk should match our talk. Then a young man confronts Jesus with a civil problem. He wanted Jesus to tell his brother to divide the inheritance. We don’t know what’s behind this. It could be one of several things. Perhaps the older brother got the entire inheritance or this man had already squandered the part he received. Jesus already knew what was going on, but the bottom line is that Jesus, in effect, said ‘it’s none of my business.’  Jesus does, however, give three things to take note of. (1) A warning: beware of covetousness. The devil will cause our attention and focus to be on things. (2) A truth: life doesn’t consist of the things we possess. A person shouldn’t be measured by what he has; God doesn’t look at people that way. (3) The parable: there was a rich farmer. His barns were full. There was still more to harvest so he was going to tear down what he had and build bigger. I never have understood that. Why not just build on?  There isn’t really anything wrong with this. It is a sound business decision. By verse 19 it seems he may have been getting ready to retire. Store it. Sit back and eat and drink in the rocker on the porch. It all seems in order. A good farmer became rich. If it’s all proper, then why verse 20?  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? The answer is found in verse 21.  He was not rich toward God. 

I see five mistakes that many people make today. (1) He thought money bought happiness and would bring satisfaction. True happiness is never found in money. I’m thankful for what I have. I’ve got food to eat, a roof over my head, a vehicle to drive, and clothes to wear. God’s been good. True happiness comes from other things. (a) Knowing God as our heavenly Father. I’m glad I know he’s my Father. It used to be the devil. You’re on one side or the other. The world would have us believe the Lord is Father of all. In a creation sense, he is. But not in a spiritual sense. He’s only our Father if we accept Jesus as Savior. John 8:42 and 44 gives reference to this. (b) Happiness comes from knowing our sins are forgiven.  Been washed. Been cleansed. This is what brings joy. I’m not under the burden of sin. It’s gone! Gone! Gone!  My sins are gone!  (c) Happiness comes in having a good church home. The church is the only institution founded by the Lord himself. It’s a joy to be a member of a real New Testament church. But it’s a greater joy to be part of THE church. I’ve been born into the church of God. (d) I know the Bible is my guide. When we go on a trip we need a map or nowadays most use GPS. The Bible is the GPS from earth to glory.  It’s the inspired, inherent Word of God. I don’t understand it all, but I do believe it all. It always takes us by Calvary. The cross leads us to heaven.   (2) He had his priorities mixed up. God sees to our daily needs. Why worry about tomorrow? We may be home tomorrow! Matthew 6 tells us to seek first the kingdom of God. Put it all in God’s hands. (3) He stored his treasures in the wrong bank. The earthly is carnal; the spiritual is heavenly. Until a person is saved his spiritual account balance is $0. You witness, visit the sick and it’s stored in a spiritual bank. The man was rich in earthly means but not towards God. (4) He planned for time but not for eternity. The simple fact is that you will live forever somewhere. When you take your last breath here, then what? Luke 16 describes hell as a place where the soul never dies. You’ll live in heaven or hell. I hope this gets your attention.  After all this life, then what?  Death?  Then what? (5) We should put aside for a rainy day, but we’d better lay up treasure in heaven. We could die anytime. Proverbs 27 tells us not to boast about tomorrow. We don’t know what it will bring.


I’m not boasting. I don’t believe I’m going to die today. You don’t either. I plan to be around for a while. I enjoy life. God has given me a good life. But I live like I know I could die today. The rich man disregarded tomorrow. God called him a fool. People looked at him and saw how right his life was. He had it made. God told him that very night he would die. Then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?  How does God see you today?  Have you planned for eternity or just for time?  Would God call you a fool? What are you going to do with your opportunity to accept Christ today?

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