“And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?” (Luke 12:16-17)
God called this rich man “Thou fool” (Luke 12:20) because, rich as he was in his own eyes, he was “not rich toward God” (v. 21). Instead of choosing to bestow his goods on others in need or on any kind of ministry for God, he decided to build more barns and “there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods” (v. 18). The barns did not need them, however, and neither did the rich fool, for he died the very night on which he made this selfish decision.
The intensity of his self-centered nature is pointed up by the fact that he used personal pronouns (I, my) no less than 11 times in three verses (vv. 17-19). Furthermore, no counselor advised him on this course of action. He just “thought within himself” (v. 17) to keep it all for his own comfort and pleasure.
Jesus told this parable not just to rebuke selfish rich people, however, but to warn all of us against the wicked sin of covetousness “which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). “Beware of covetousness,” He said in introducing the parable, “for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15).
Complaining American Christians (and almost all American Christians are wealthy compared to multitudes in many other nations) need to hear the ancient word of the psalmist still relevant today: “Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. . . . Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish” (Psalm 49:16-17, 20). HMM