Luke 12:16 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.
There is a big difference between good sensible saving, and the practice of inordinate hoarding. In this parable the rich man was blessed with material wealth and apparently he had, by a judicious use of his managerial skills, accumulated more revenue than he could possibly use in his lifetime. The Lord did not rebuke him for merely being rich, nor was he reprimanded for building bigger barns, for all of those decisions are considered to be wise financial policies. The problem as stated in the parable is that he only thought of himself with no regard or mention of the less fortunate, and because of his disposition to hoard for himself, he was deprived of the very life he had purposed to preserve.
Being rich toward God, as stated in verse 21, not only involves a frugal and wise management of temporal goods and resources, but it also includes a sensible disposition of those assets to those who are less fortunate, in cases where assistance is duly warranted. It also includes a faithful return of tithes and offerings into the God-ordained storehouse for the building up of His kingdom and the dispersion of truth throughout the world.
In our day there seems to be a frenzied rush to retire in ease and contentment, just as the rich man in the parable had purposed to do. Some are anxious to have an inordinately large nest egg, while others worry more about their 401k than about their soul's salvation, and this desire often drives many to make investments that promise unrealistic returns. While it is true that we should provide for the future just like the ants do, God's will is not that we become overly absorbed in the pursuit of gain, but rather that we should seek first the interests of his kingdom and His righteousness, and the promise is given that all of our needs would be supplied.
We therefore end with a passage of scripture that should bring balance to our temporal endeavors by putting God first and foremost in our lives. Let's read:
Matthew 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
May we all live by this motto, God first, others next, self last. God bless!