Are You “Rich Toward God”?
AMONG the many thought-provoking parables given by Jesus Christ, there is one about a wealthy landowner. In an effort to make a secure future sure for himself, the landowner made plans to build bigger storehouses. Yet, in Jesus’ illustration, the man is called an “unreasonable one.” (Luke 12:16-21) A number of Bible translations even use the word “fool.” Why the harsh assessment?
Evidently, this wealthy man’s plans did not include God; nor did he give any credit to God for the land’s productiveness. (Matthew 5:45) Rather, he boasted: “Soul, you have many good things laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, enjoy yourself.” Yes, he imagined that the fruitage of his endeavors would serve as “a protective wall.”
In warning against such a haughty spirit, the disciple James wrote: “Come, now, you who say: ‘Today or tomorrow we will journey to this city and will spend a year there, and we will engage in business and make profits,’ whereas you do not know what your life will be tomorrow. For you are a mist appearing for a little while and then disappearing.”
True to those words, the rich man in Jesus’ parable was told: “Unreasonable one, this night they are demanding your soul from you. Who, then, is to have the things you stored up?” Like a disappearing mist, the rich man would pass away before he could see his dreams fulfilled. Do we discern the lesson? Said Jesus: “So it goes with the man that lays up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God.” Are you “rich toward God”?