Questions for the Rich Farmer

Chic Broersma

Read: Luke 12:13-21

Be on your guard against all covetousness. (v. 15)

In just three verses, this rich fool refers to himself seven times. Count them. He reminds me of the T-shirt that says, “Enough about me, let’s talk about you. What do you think about me?” This raises several “what if” questions. What if the rich farmer had reflected on God’s blessings, which enabled his bountiful crops? What if he had thought, “I will build bigger so I’ll have storage room for neighboring farmers?” What if the rich farmer had remembered that life is as brief as the morning mist?

“But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’” (Luke 12:20). There is nothing wrong with bountiful crops or having more than one barn could hold. It all is a gift of God, who makes the sun shine and the rain fall, producing the abundant harvest. Farmers work long hours planting, harvesting, and storing into barns. Greed is something else. It’s been called the affliction of the affluent—an abundance of money, property, and material goods. God is not stingy. He created a world with “enough for everyone’s needs, but not for everyone’s greed” (Gandhi).

In Dante’s Inferno of judgment, the greedy are boiled alive in molten gold. It’s their punishment for hoarding or spending their riches selfishly. Mercy gives. Greed grabs. It’s never satisfied. Jesus says to us, “Beware of covetousness”! —Chic Broersma

Prayer: Lord, free me from greed.