PARABLES DAY 12 - 17 May 2018

Ben Fourie

“You fool! This very night you will have to give up your life …” Luke 12:20

Is it wrong to be rich? The Bible seems in many places to be rather negative about wealth. Look at Proverbs 23:4 “Do not wear yourself out to get rich…” (NIV) or Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money…” (GNB) or the parable about the rich fool here in Luke 12. Is the Bible against wealthy people? No! The Bible actually has a very balanced view of the rich and the poor. Look at Solomon and Job who were both very rich.

Jesus tells the story about a man who was blessed with good land that bore good crops. Obviously he was also a hardworking man who was used to reaping good crops. Now he finds himself in a difficulty because his last crop was so big that there was no place to store it. His plan to get out of the predicament is also very good; break down the old small barns and build new big ones. This sounds like sound practice but Jesus saw something else. In verse 15 he says, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because a person’s true life is not made up of the things he owns, no matter how rich he may be.”

The second part of the verse in Proverbs also says, “… have the wisdom to show restraint”. Yes people may be wealthy, we actually need more rich people in South Africa who can help create jobs. However, there is a huge difference between wealth and greed. The biggest problem with too much money is when people are so caught up in what they own that they fall into the trap of becoming greedy. They overlook the fact that all that they own comes from God and they do not care about people in dire need. In the story of the beggar, Lazarus, and the rich man in Luke 16 the rich man is not condemned because of his riches, but because he did not reach out a helping hand to Lazarus who was lying at his door, covered in sores and almost dying of hunger. God blesses some people with more riches than others but expects them to handle their wealth responsibly.

Prayer: Make me a responsible steward. Amen

Go to top