Opening Prayer

I come to your Word today, Father, acknowledging my unworthiness and being amazed that you would give your Son to die for me. I come eager to hear from you how I can better serve you.

Read LUKE 12:13-21

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

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New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


‘Take my silver and my gold, / not a mite would I withhold.’1

Think Further

On the surface, this parable is about amassing wealth and relying too much on it. Almost a cliché, ‘eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die’ has entered our consciousness in literature and language. This seemingly simple story, however, is far from simplistic. The answers to the question, ‘What was the rich man’s folly?’ are many and complex – and they still pervade human society.2 Preoccupation with possessions. Until God interrupts the fool’s self-congratulatory musings, there is nothing to the story but the man and his possessions. When his materialistic life was laid bare before God, however, it was actually empty. His possessions possessed him. Security in self-sufficiency. The fool comes across as deluded, thinking he needs no one else. His wealth will take care of him. He feels no need of the security of family, friends, or community. He does not even need God. The grasp of greed. The fool’s deepest thoughts reveal no compulsion to use his wealth to help those in need. Greed has eaten away at any compassion he may once have had. The futility of pleasure-seeking. The fool’s dream is to spend his life gratifying his whims and pleasures. The greatest good he can imagine is his own self-indulgence.

Sadly, this attitude is only too common today, an approach to life which has been called ‘practical atheism.’3 The rich fool, a first- century Jew, believed in the existence of God but, in practice, lived as if there were no God, particularly a God who might make demands of him. The rich fool’s dreams sound surprisingly like many people’s retirement plans! Among Australians, seventy percent believe God exists, whereas only seventeen percent actually attend a place of worship. Even practicing Christians can spend too much time and energy on their material lives and their future comfort and security.


Ask the Lord to help you use resources responsibly in this world, conscious of the needs of others. Thank him that our future is secure with him.

Closing prayer

Lord God, I pray for myself and for my church community, that you and your priorities would be the focus of our lives. May all that we are and do be set on bringing glory to you.

Last Updated on November 22, 2023 by kingstar

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