Abraham’s Opposite

“By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is Go.d.” (Hebrews 11)

During Abraham’s journey to faith,  he “become extremely wealthy in livestock and silver and gold” (cf. Genesis 13).  

The opposite of Abraham is the Rich Man of Luke 12

Jesus warned, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions” with a parable about a “rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. who had more money than he could spend” (cf. Luke 12:13-21).  In this man’s thinking, he had enough money for years to come.   His philosophy, “eat, drink and be merry.”   God’s displeasure with the rich man wasn’t his wealth.   Nor was it his celebration of success.

The Rich Man and Solomon.

The rich man in Jesus’ parable wasn’t much different than King Solomon.  The only difference was the benefit of the rearview mirror.    How many years of building bigger barns and pleasure-seeking did it take for Solomon to become truly wise?  (cf. “Fear God and keep His commandments” and “nothing is better for a man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work. I have also seen that this is from the hand of God”).

Fortunately,  God isn’t through with this farmer!

“Fool! This night they shall require your very life from you; now who owns whom?”

R.W. Stacy’s translation of verse 20 (see above) fits the Greek wording. Stacy explains the translation: “And so Jesus’ version of this well-traveled story does not serve the same truism that most versions do; namely, “you can’t take it with you.” In Jesus’ story, the rich man doesn’t die! He lives! For Jesus, the worst thing about putting all your “stock” in stuff is not that you might die before you can enjoy it, but that you might live to regret it! His point is that all the “stuff” the rich man thought he owned actually owns him! Look how it dominates his life. He’s launched a demolition and construction program to support it all. He has to lie awake at night terrified that someone might slip in and steal his stuff. What do you want to bet he’s called to check on the cost of a security system?”(cf. STACY, R. W. Luke 12:13-21: The Parable of the Rich Fool; Expositor, [s. l.], v. 94, n. 2, p. 285–292, 1997.

Unlike the wise man of Proverbs, most of us attempt to fill the holes in our souls with money, sex, and power. Fortunately, God builds the law of diminishing returns into our souls. Like the prodigal son and the rich man in Jesus’ parable, God allows the sadness of sin to fill our hearts until we are filled with God.

Author: gbradepp

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