Rich toward God

Read: Luke 12:13-21

Honor the LORD with your wealth . . . then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Prov. 3:9-10)

Jesus’ story is known as the parable of the rich fool. This farmer was a fool because he thought his prosperity was all for himself—notice how many times he uses the words “I” and “my.” He also thought he would have many years to enjoy his goods, but he didn’t even have another day. The parable asks a pertinent question: “the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” (Luke 12:20). The ironic answer is seen in verse 13. The money and property we care so much about and work so hard for may sadly be our kids’ to fight over.

Our proverb today seems to draw a straight cause and effect relationship between financial giving and financial getting. If you offer your wealth to God, he will make sure you receive even more in return. But we know the truth is not that simple. The farmer in Jesus’ story didn’t honor the Lord at all, yet his barns were overfull. Yes, there is a connection between giving and being blessed, but it’s not necessarily a financial one. The important question is how do we honor the Lord with our wealth? In Jesus’ terms, how can we be rich toward God? The answer is by giving to those in need. When God blesses us financially it’s so that we can bless others. As St. Ambrose commented on the rich fool, “His barns should have been the mouths of the poor.” —David Bast

As you pray, ask to be rich toward God.

About the Author

david bast

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.