Fools: An Intelligent Fool
Recorded in Luke 12:16-21 is a story Jesus told about a wealthy, successful, intelligent farmer whom God called a fool.
It all began with two men who were fussing over their inheritance. One asked Jesus to settle the issue, but Jesus refused. Instead He spoke out against covetousness and materialism and used the story of the rich fool to illustrate His message.
The crops did well. The barns were full. Grain still stood in the fields waiting to be reaped. The farmer had no more storage room. He decided to pull down the barns and build larger ones.
In the midst of his planning, God intervened, addressing this farmer as a fool and warning him he would die that night. Why did God call this enterprising farmer a fool? Certainly it was not for his good qualities.
HIS GOOD QUALITIES
This farmer was industrious. Ground does not produce a bountiful harvest without lots of work. He had carefully cultivated his land for this harvest. He was certainly not lazy. He had a work ethic; something we should cultivate in our children by requiring them to do their chores faithfully. Let them learn the value of a dollar by working for their allowance.
This farmer was intelligent. He looked ahead and saw he had a storage problem. He used his brain God had given him and solved his problem by planning to build new larger barns.
It’s not enough to have a good job and earn lots of money. Lots of people do that and spend it as quickly as they earn it. That is not wise.
But to spend more than we are earn is financial suicide. Such a person is living as a fool. He is facing financial ruin from which he may never recover. The same applies to nations that spend themselves into obscene debt.
Although poverty of spirit is a godly quality we should desire, financial poverty is not a virtue. There is nothing spiritual about being lazy or handling our financial affairs so sloppily that we live in poverty all of our lives. There is nothing unspiritual about spending frugally and investing wisely and building financial security.
Avoid draining your money away in high interest payments by living beyond your means with your credit cards. Credit cards are NOT a source of money! They are a source of DEBT!
This farmer was ambitious. Ambition is a double-edged sword. Ambition to do your best and get ahead can be good or bad. It is good if our ambition is to live for God’s glory alone. It is sinful if we are living only for our own glory, pleasure and fame.
We expect our missionaries to live sacrificially, using their assets and strength for God’s glory. We Christians at home should be living just as sacrificially and using our money to further the cause of Christ. The purpose of wealth for the Christian should be to use it for God’s glory; not just 10% of it, but all of it. One day you and I will give an account to Christ for the way we used or abused our resources and energy. Remember, it’s not really your money. It’s God’s! You and I are simply stewards of it. Make sure you have His approval for the money you spend.
This farmer was respectable Respect does not come with riotous living. He was no doubt an upstanding, respected man in his community. But Jesus called him A FOOL!
WHY DID JESUS CALL HIM A FOOL?
He was proud and considered himself a “self- made” man. He was totally self-centered. Listen to him speak. “What shall I do?” “This will I do” “I will pull down my barns”. “I will say to my soul take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry” He saw all his possessions as his own.
Contrast the Psalmist in Psalm 116:12-19 which begins, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits to me?
He neglected his soul. He was a classic materialist. Somehow he thought that his soul’s needs could be satisfied by taking care of his body’s needs. Money spent on ourselves can only buy things that rust, burn up, get moth eaten, get stolen, decay and perish. Money invested for God’s glory brings eternal rewards.
That night he left all his wealth behind for he knew not whom. Some would think he was a big thinker. Actually he was a small thinker. He considered only this life and his material needs and totally ignored eternity and his eternal soul.
Jesus asks us, “For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36
If we put anything or anyone before God, we are idolaters. If we ignore God and his will for our lives, we are practical atheists.
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