The Rich Fool

“But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” ” (Luke 12:20-21)

Rich Toward God?

This man made an incredibly stupid calculation and one that is made in our culture every day. It’s not what you think. It’s not the reality of his riches or even deciding to build bigger barns. It was who he was doing this for and what he was going to do with it. He completely missed that using earthly riches for yourself is incredibly shortsighted. God’s judgment points this out. Tonight you are going to die, then who gets what you have amassed for yourself? In other words, you don’t get to keep it! Not one dime that we have do we get to keep. Of course you do. There are laws against people stealing it and the FDIC guarantees the deposits and so you really do get to keep it. No. How much did the great Pharoah of Egypt Ramses keep? King Tut? How much did John Rockefeller keep? How much will Warren Buffet and Bill Gates keep? How much of what you have will you keep? The answer is the same for everyone including this rich fool. Nothing. Not one dime. All we have in this life will be given to someone else. That very night he would die. Then what would he “have”?

The point of the parable is not about wealth and money but how foolish it is to live for them and not use them for what will gain us treasure for eternity. This is the foolishness of a non-generous life. So tragically shortsighted.

Randy Alcorn illustrates it very simply. Don’t live for the dot. Don’t waste your life. Don’t waste your resources.

When we die, we stand before God. Nothing material goes with us or matters before God. What matters is what we did with what God gave us.

Let’s reread v. 21, So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.

The goal for the Christian in this life must be to be rich in the next.

This is why how we use our money is such a helpful indicator of where our hearts are. Here or there. Now or then. Which are you living for? How can you know? Look at your bank statement. Look at your checkbook. The places with the most digits are what you love the most. This whole parable is saying, if our biggest digits are spent on us for the here and now, than we are playing the fool.


Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

© 2010 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s web site address ( on the copied resource.

To hear the message of this excerpt in its entirety, click here


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