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The Parable of the
Rich Fool

The parable of the Rich Fool teaches us that it is a mistake to think that life consists of the abundance of what a person may possess

It also conveys the grave danger of those who accumulate wealth and abundance with a "retirement" mindset of having enough money stashed away and taking it easy in retirement with these core principles: "Soul, Thou has much goods laid up for many years, take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."

The Parable of the Rich Fool:

Luke 12.13-31

And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.

14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?

15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.

16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

21 So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

What is Covetousness?

Ephesians 5.3 "Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people."

Hebrews 13.5 "Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

Colossians 3.5 "So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world."


Luke 12.15 "Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own."

  • Possessions lead to many temptations such as pride and tie our affections to the things of this world rather than the things of God

Colossians 3.1-3 "Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

  • This problem deals with the thoughts and intentions of the “spiritual heart”.
  • Covetousness is having the wrong attitude toward material things.
  • Covetousness results from an excessive desire and greed for material gain.
  • Thou shall not covet is #10 of the Ten Commandments - Exodus 20.17

The Covetous cannot enter the Kingdom of GOD

1 Corinthians 6.9-10 " Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy [covetous] people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

He was a "poor" rich fool...

The Parable:

  • We must be able to say to our possessions, "You are not my life!"
  • The rich fool was absorbed into what he owned
  • He said, "my goods, my fruit, my barns, my soul - GOD was not in the equation...yet it was the work of others that enriched him.
  • The reality is that he was a "poor" rich fool who, one day later, would own absolutely nothing!

  • The "imagination" is a whole world inside the mind...

Parables are powerful "word-pictures" that are meant to be engrafted into our mental pictures do control our thought-life.

That's where the "imagination" gets involved. The imagination allows mental exploration of the past, present, future. It is the ability to see pictures and images in the "movie theater" of the mind. The imagination is the "workshop" of the human mind. It is the only thing in the world we have complete control over. That's why GOD takes great interest of what goes on there, and judges what we allow to grow there - Genesis 6.5

What is "wealth"?

Is it not a conscience free from offense, cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit of GOD - the "treasure of the world within"?

The rich fool exchanged this for new and bigger barns - which he did not get.

The man was dead inside. He had a lot of money on the outside. He had rejected the treasure "within" and died destitute...

Is money bad?

Absolutely not! But money can only be healthy and safe to the proportion of the growth of character within each individual. To use the money wisely, and to disperse it for GOD's glory, not ours.

This is the mistake many make...

Many men have a "retirement" mentality that drives them to accumulate enough money for years, "soul, thou hast goods laid up for many years"...

The Rich Fool forgot who provided the rain, the fertile soil, the miracle of seed growth, the sun, and all of nature's blessings to make a harvest possible.

He figured out that he was going to have a "good time", take it easy, and feast, and drink...

But the GOD he rejected, "pulled the plug" on his puny plans! What he had hoarded up for easy-living was destroyed by two words, "this night" - thy soul shall be required of thee...

He figured on having a bigger barn...


Instead of a barn, he got a burial...

"Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee!"

As in the parable of another rich man - The Rich Man and Lazarus - both went to hell, NOT because they were rich, but because they had left GOD out of their life

Although the Rich Fool had "nothing to say to GOD", God had plenty to say to him... the man had presumed on the length of day he would have to enjoy the future - and lost!

Was it worth it?   Is it worth it?  Men sacrifice all pleasures of life, and neglect spiritual interests to make money - and die suddenly - leaving their hard earned gains to be spent and wasted by pleasure-loving children...

Psalms 39.6 "We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it."

Psalms 49.6 "They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches."

Ecclesiastes 2.18-23 " I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. 19 And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless! 20 So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world.

21 Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy. 22 So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? 23 Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless."

Let GOD, not our "goods" be first in our lives.

And, whatever GOD permits us to have, whether much, or little - shall be used for His Glory alone.

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