Biblical Prosperity (Part 2) – The Rich Fool
Our culture and society has trained us to want more, to strive for more and to have more. To the world, your success and prosperity is measured by the quantity of what you have; Therefore worldly thinking measures you and your prosperity by the quantity of your possessions, the quantity of your salary and perks, the quantity of your clothes, the quantity of your degrees and the like. In our culture and society – the more you have, the more respect you will get, the more you move up the ladder in terms of your social status, the more influence or power you have and the more you can supposedly accomplish in life.
Therefore a person has got to work for more money, have more cars, have more houses, have more clothes and the like. At times people will try to achieve more of these things at the cost of disadvantaging others in the process.
However, can having money, riches, possessions and power be enough to satisfy a person? Does material wealth and financial riches bring personal satisfaction and do they give a person a true feeling of accomplishment – or do they continue to motivate a person to have an insatiable desire for more and more of these things.
Luke 12:15-21 NKJV
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.”
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he 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.”‘ 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.”
7 MISTAKES OF THE RICH FOOL
The Rich Fool who built a bigger barn in Jesus’ parable made a lot of mistakes. The Rich Fool’s mistakes are very common and very relevant in today’s culture and society where the desire for more riches, more power, more possessions lead people to sin against the Lord because of greed.
The Rich Fool was blinded not only by his riches, but he was also blinded by his greed or his desire to have more.
The Rich Fool’s mistake was that:
(1) He measured his success by the abundance of his possessions. (Luke 12:15 – 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.”)
(2) He was overtaken by greed. He already had plentiful but he wanted more. (Luke 12:16-18 – Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully…)
(3) He was not content with what he had. He had more than enough and yet he wanted even more, therefore he built a bigger barn (Luke 12:17-18 – And he 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.)
(4) He was boastful in himself, in his achievements and about what he owned. He trusted that his possessions would give him security for the rest of his life.( Luke 12:19 – 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.”)
(5) He wanted to satisfy his flesh. The fact that he was so rich and had built a bigger barn, he thought that this gave him the opportunity to no longer work but instead spend the rest of his life on indulging his fleshly pleasures .( Luke 12:19 – 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.”)
(6) He did not realize that all the possessions he owned were just temporary assets. He forgot that he could die at any time and not have a chance to enjoy his possessions and wealth. (Luke 12:20 – 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?’)
(7) He was self-serving and self-centred. He was not rich towards God and he did not focus on doing deeds that would earn him heavenly rewards. (Luke 12:21 – “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” )
Ecclesiastes 5:10 ESV
He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.
The Problem of Greed
(According to www.vocabulary.com) – Greed is an overwhelming urge to have more of something, usually more than you really need. Greed is an excessive desire to acquire or possess more (especially more material wealth) than one needs or deserves. Greed is often connected with money, a desire to acquire as much of it as possible, but it can refer to that kind of urge toward anything, like food or material possessions. When you see greed, it’s an ugly thing, whether you’re observing a greedy person or the greed of a huge company that treats its workers badly in order to make more money. Greed comes from the Old English grædig, or “voracious”, which means “always hungry for more.”
The truth is money, riches, possessions do not satisfy. Only God is able to satisfy. The Rich Fool was motivated by greed or a lust for more.
In today’s society we want more than enough. The world is not content with having enough.
God has warned us against greed and covetousness. Read Bible Verses about Greed.
We also live in the era of false teachings such as the prosperity gospel (or health and wealth) where scripture is distorted in order to influence people to be more materialistic and crave for money.
1 Timothy 6:6-10 NKJV
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Whenever we are tempted with greed, let us remember that the very possessions we work so hard to achieve can disappear within seconds. We can leave this earth at any time and leave the very possessions that we coveted.
It is better for us to put more effort in doing the will of the Lord and focusing on being rich towards God through obeying Him and serving Him. When we do this, we will acquire treasures in Heaven.