“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do.
I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones,
and there I will store my surplus grain.”
Luke 12:18 (NIV)
“And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
Luke 12:19-21 (NIV)
The man in this brief story was trifling with God. What I mean is that he did not put the Lord at the centre of his life. God was an afterthought—unimportant. God was not even on his radar. He thought that he deserved the credit for his business success. God had taught in Scripture the uncertainty of life, but somehow he did not believe it applied to him. So in two ways he trivialized God. First he gave himself all the credit for success in life and second he did not believe God’s Word that says life is uncertain at the best.
Likely he never gave God thanks at mealtime. Perhaps he boasted to his farmer friends how wisely he acted in working the land and causing it to produce abundantly. There is no doubt that he rejoiced in the thought that he was now going to live the easy life after all his hard work.
Sadly the man did not take into account the fact that life is uncertain for all of us. The money we put aside for our retirement may be spent by our children. In several decades of ministry I have conducted more funerals for people under 65 than over. I know that is not the norm, but at least it happened in my ministry.
When we leave God out of our lives—whether it is in terms of money, time, worship or other ways—we may be certain He respects that choice and leaves us to our own resources, since we first rejected Him and His resources.
The man in our passage for today freely put himself as the sole beneficiary of his wealth. He would use it to bless himself with great times in retirement. It seems nothing went to the poor, the suffering, the synagogue, to God. He greedily kept his god of gold to serve his own needs and keep him happy for a long retirement.
However he forgot one thing. God will not be trifled with. Jesus tells us that the night after the man made his plans for a long retirement God took his life away from him. All he had saved for himself went to others. He never lived to spend it on himself.
We need to take God seriously. We need to put Him before ourselves if we would be wise. Nothing and no one in life is as important than the One Who made us. Never be caught trifling with God. Trifling with God is very expensive, you cannot afford it.