GOD CALLED HIM A FOOL
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." Luke 12:16-20.
In current usage most of us think of a fool as an
ignorant simpleton, but this is not the meaning of "fool" in the
Bible. A study of Bible words translated "fool" pictures a person
who is proud, egotistical, self-confident, and void of proper
respect for God.
Jesus warned against calling another person a
fool. "…But whoever says, ‘You fool’, shall be in danger of hell fire." Matthew 5:22. The
reason is that to call someone a fool we have to judge their inward
motives which we cannot know. God called the rich farmer a fool because God
knew the motivations of his heart.
I. The Farmer Was Not A Fool Because He Was Wealthy.
He Was Wealthy Because He Was Industrious.
As a farmer he had one of the most honorable
occupations a man can have. He worked hard at plowing, planting, and
cultivating his crop. The fact that this resulted in an abundant
crop is not a sin. "But the hand of the diligent makes rich"
There is a widespread misconception that money is
the root of all evil, but the Scripture is crystal clear that it is
not money, but the love of money. "For the love of money
is a root of all kinds of evil…" 1st Timothy 6:10a.
The scripture is simply saying that the love of money can motivate a
person to commit virtually any kind of sin.
Money has built and equipped churches and
Christian ministries; trained preachers and Christian workers;
operated countless compassionate services and sent Christian
missionaries to the ends of the earth.
He Was Wealthy Because God Blessed His Efforts
There is a world of meaning in that phrase "…the
ground…yielded plentifully." Inherent in this statement are the
God gave soil with
nutrients to produce the crop.
God gave sunshine in the
right amounts and at the right time.
God gave the farmer the
intelligence to follow good agricultural practice.
God gave the farmer
health and physical strength to do the work.
God withheld destructive
storms and crop disease.
The Hebrew scriptures have many promises of
prosperity to Israel when they conduct their vocations in a way
pleasing to Him. "The blessing of the Lord makes one rich,
and He adds no sorrow with it." Proverbs 10:22.
"And you shall remember the LORD your God, for
it is He who is gives you power to get wealth…" Deuteronomy
8:18. Read Psalms 1:1-3. The apostle, John, wrote to Gaius, a godly
Christian business man; "Beloved, I pray that you
may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." 3rd
John verses 1 and 2.
II. The Farmer Was Not
A Fool Because He Prepared For His Family’s Future Welfare.
The apostle, Paul, indicated there is a direct
connection between the way Christians practice good stewardship and
the way God prospers them. See 2nd Corinthians 9:6-11.
"…I will do this: I will
pull down my
barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and
my goods." Luke 12:18.
First, the farmer was practicing good crop
conservation. It was certainly better to provide for the
preservation of his crop rather than let it rot in the field.
Second, the scriptures encourage making
preparations for future needs. "Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain, overseer or
ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food
in the harvest." Proverbs 6:6-8
Christian men are exhorted in 1st
Timothy 5:8 "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and
especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and
is worse than an unbeliever."
III. The Farmer Was A Fool Because He Thought Happiness For The
Soul Is Found In Material Things.
"Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years
to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."
Here is what the farmer was convinced that
satisfied the soul:
Outward Evidence of Success - larger barns
that expanded his enterprise
Wealth - ",,,many goods laid up for
Health - He was confident he had ‘many
Comfort and Luxury - "…take your ease,
eat, drink, and be merry."
Pleasure - "…be merry".
We certainly acknowledge that all of these things
can give some degree of satisfaction to a man intellectually,
emotionally, and physically. The two problems are (1) They only last
from a few seconds to a few years - very brief in the light of
eternity and (2) They do absolutely nothing for the soul. The farmer
was totally ignorant of what satisfies the soul:
The soul doesn’t eat corn, beans, and wheat, but
is nourished by the spiritual bread, milk,
and water of life.
The soul doesn’t find its satisfactions in temporary
but eternal spiritual
The soul doesn’t find it’s rest and refreshment
in physical luxury, but in unhindered fellowship with God.
The soul doesn’t receive its health and strength
from physical activity, but spiritual activity.
The soul doesn’t find it’s joy in physical
merriment, but in the spiritual triumphs
and blessings of the Lord.
The reason Jesus told this parable was to teach
that "not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of
his possessions." Verse 15.
The Farmer Was A Fool Because His Faith Was Completely In Earthly
That fact comes out very clearly as we hear him
talking about "my fruits", "my barns", and "my goods".
The scriptures gives definite warning about
placing our faith in uncertain earthly riches:
"He who trusts in his riches will fall…"
"Command those who are rich in the present
not to be haughty nor to trust in uncertain
riches, but in the living God who gives us richly all things to enjoy."
1st Timothy 6:17
Wise, indeed, is that person who heeds the last
part of the above admonition to trust "God, Who gives
us richly all things to enjoy." May the confidence and immortal
statements of David come home to our hearts, "The LORD is my
shepherd, I shall not want." Psalm 23:1, and again, "The young lions
do lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not
lack any good thing." Psalm 34:10, and again, "Delight yourself in the
LORD; And He shall give you the desires of your heart." Psalms 37:4.
I have lived long enough to observe the final
chapters in the lives of many people. From scripture and observation
I say confidently that any believer can expect to enjoy the good
things of life more and longer when their trust is in God than the
wealthy person whose trust is in their riches.
V. THE FARMER WAS A FOOL BECAUSE HE DID NOT PREPARE FOR ETERNITY.
All His Plans For the Future Were Earthly.
There was not one thought about his future that
included God or eternal destiny. He counted out his increase,
projected it over his expected lifetime and made his plans for
earthly comfort and enjoyment. He laid sown to sleep dreaming of
many good, great barns, luxurious ease and much merriment.
God’s Plans Were For His Earthly Life To End That
"But God said to him, ‘Fool! This
night your soul will be required of you; and then whose will those
things be which you
have provided?’ "The farmer’s clock said "many years".
God’s clock said, "Tonight!"
Sometime that night a cold breath from the lips
of death swept over the farmer from the top of his head to the soles
of his feet. When his family awoke the next morning they discovered
a cold, stiff corpse. The farmer’s soul left his body to meet God
unprepared. Jesus later told about another rich man who had the same
experience. He described what happened after the soul left the body.
"And being in torments in Hades he lifted up his eyes, and saw
Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and
said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he
may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I
am tormented in this flame." Luke 16:23,24. That rich man found
out there was a great expanse fixed between the saved and the lost,
and there was no passage from one realm to the other. That rich man
immediately began to think of his five brothers. He knew that they
had only made plans for their earthly life and none for eternity. He
pled for Lazarus to have a resurrection and warn his five brothers
about what was waiting for them after they died. The answer of
Abraham was that they had the word of God and if they wouldn’t list
to the word of God they wouldn’t listen even if someone rose from
the dead. Each one of us also has the word of God.
This farmer teaches us that it is the height of
foolishness to make all our plans and preparation for this earthly,
physical life and not plan for our meeting with God and the eternal
destiny that follows.
Perhaps you are one who should begin your plans
and preparations for your meeting with God and eternity today.
Forgiveness of sin and salvation of soul is available to all because
Jesus Christ received the punishment for our sins. "For Christ
also suffered once for sins , the just for the unjust,
that He might bring us to God…" 1st Peter 3:18. When
we ask Jesus to forgive our sins and save our souls in sincerity and
faith, He will do it. "for whoever calls on the name of the
LORD shall be saved." Romans 10:13
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.