By Steve Preston
In teaching the people, Jesus made use of parables. A parable is generally defined as an earthly story with a spiritual application. One such story was that of a rich man. This particular rich man was blessed with a bountiful harvest (Luke 12:16). Dwelling on his wealth, the rich thought,
“What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 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. 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” (vss. 17-19).
This rich man made several mistakes but we will focus on just one, the fact that he forgot about God. Notice that this man thought his wealth was due to his efforts alone. He said, “What shall I do,” “I have no room,” “This will I do.” Clearly this rich man thought he had no help at all.
However, the Bible teaches us that it is God that blesses us with material things:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
Jesus also taught that putting the kingdom first would ensure that our material needs were met: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
Of all the mistakes this rich man mad, forgetting that it was God that had blessed him with abundance was perhaps the greatest error.
Being rich in material things was not the sin of the rich man. Thinking he did it by himself, apart from God, was the mistake.
As children of God, our thought should always be that of thankfulness to Him that we are so blessed with material goods. Let us heed the words that Paul wrote to Timothy:
“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
In Christ, Steve Preston