Lessons from a Rich Fool

Gold Coins

On one occasion, Jesus told a parable about a man who was considered a fool because of how he focused on his riches to the neglect of his soul. This parable was presented as a warning against greed and a reminder that there is more to our existence than material things (Luke 12:15).

And He told them a parable, saying, ‘The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, “What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?” Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.’” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?” So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God’” (Luke 12:16-21).

Let us consider three brief lessons from this parable.
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“Give Me Neither Poverty Nor Riches”


If we were able to make two requests that would help to improve our lives here on the earth, what would those requests be? Agur, the wise man to whom Proverbs 30 is attributed, told us what his two requests were:

Two things I asked of You, do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God” (Proverbs 30:7-9).

The second request – the desire for “neither poverty nor riches” – is what we will focus on in this article.
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The Flat Tax

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Almost everyone has an opinion when it comes to the topic of taxes. Most would agree that paying taxes is necessary in order for one’s government to be able to function, but the rate and method of taxation is where you find many different opinions. One idea that some have suggested is a flat tax. This would require everyone to pay the same percentage of their income. As with any proposal, you will find people for and against the idea.

I certainly have my opinions about taxes, but that is not the purpose of this article. However, it is interesting that a sort of flat tax can be found in the Law of Moses. Yet this flat tax did not result in everyone paying the same percentage; instead, they all paid the same amount. Notice the instructions regarding the contribution for atonement:
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The Common Bond Between Rich and Poor

Rich and Poor

Our society tries to portray the rich and the poor as two completely opposite groups. Obviously, these groups differ greatly with respect to their possessions or income. However, the Bible speaks of a common bond between them that is far more significant than the differences between them.

The Proverb writer noted, “The rich and the poor have a common bond, the Lord is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2). In God’s creation, one economic class does not hold a superior status over the other. In fact, Peter told Cornelius and his household, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:34-35).
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