Our God is great; listen to His words and understand!
The Gospel lesson for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost came from Luke 12:16-21. Jesus had been telling His disciples in Chapter 12:1 to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. They were not pleased with His teachings.
Jesus told the parable about a rich man that had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, “What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.” Then he said, “I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods.” And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink and be merry!”
But God said to him, “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for? Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a relationship with God.”
Another story is found in Genesis 41-47 about building bigger barns. It is about the providence of God. It is God saving Joseph from the pit that his jealous brothers had thrown him into to die. God restored him and blessed him with a position of great responsibility and leadership advising the Pharaoh. Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh’s dreams and told him a famine was coming. Joseph is put into a position of power when he essentially selects himself as Egypt’s second-in-command, in charge of a massive project that involves storing up food for the years of famine.
Do you remember what happened? The famine happened; and in just three short years, Joseph seized all of the money from Pharaoh’s citizens by first selling them food. When their money ran out, he seized their cattle in exchange for food. When they were out of money and cattle, Joseph pawned their bodies to the government. Then Joseph traded all of the grain for all of the land of Egypt.
Joseph, despite being saved by God from the pit, despite being in the covenant of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph, despite being restored and put into a position of leadership, then sold out. He implemented governmental control and by controlling the food, taking all of the money, and livestock and all of their land.
Think twice before someone advises you to follow Joseph’s advice and build bigger barns. Our lives, possessions and our salvation are gifts from God. You may be tempted to build bigger barn when times are good. You may want a “rainy day fund.”
Our gifts from God are to be used to help others in the dark, to see and believe and realize that the Kingdom of God on earth is real and God offers salvation and healing and restoration and abundant life.
God does not give us believers an abundance so we can put it in the bank or barn. Every single dollar comes to us with a mission in the Kingdom of God on earth.
So who will get everything you worked for? Read the rest of Chapter 12 starting with verse 21. Are you called to the Food Bank, to the 1,000 poor in Mason County, to those who do not come to the Food Bank.