This morning we celebrate the conclusion of our harvest S/S campaign. All around us are reminders of the time of harvest. The other evening I watched a farmer moving his corn picker to his field while another farmer was combining his field of soybeans. It is truly harvest time.
This morning, I want to talk about another harvest, a "Fool's Harvest". The Bible tells us that the rain falls upon the just and the unjust alike (cf. Mt. 5:45). When God blesses with an abundant amount of rain and sunshine the harvest is good for the ungodly as well as the godly. Jesus taught a parable about a fool who enjoyed a great harvest. "The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully...But God said unto him, Thou fool." This parable was taught to illustrate the danger of the sin of covetousness. The occasion of the parable was a conflict between two brothers over the dividing of their inheritance.
I. The Spirit of Covetousness. v13-15
A. Manifested. (13-14)
1. Perhaps the man had a legitimate complaint.
2. But the attitude of the heart is what Jesus was speaking to.
3. He saw in this request a man who was concerned about things.
4. Jesus refused to assume the position of a judge in this matter, but did deal with the root problem!
B. Shunned. (15)
1. Covetousness appears in a number of ways in a person's life.
a. It may be clutching tightly what is already possessed.
b. Or, as it seems in this case, grasping for more.
c. John D. Rockerfeller was once asked how much money it would take for him to be happy, his reply, "Just a little bit more!"
d. That is the spirit of covetousness.
C. Condemned. (15)
1. An incontestable fact: "...a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."
2. "How much is he worth?" should apply more to character than to possessions.
3. It is not what we have, but it is who we are that determines a person's worth.
4. Better yet it is not who we are but whose we are!
II. The Course of Covetousness. v16-19
A. He was a worldly man. (16)
1. This doesn't mean that he was a wicked man who was constantly involved in meanness.
2. It simply means that his life revolved around the things of this earth.
3. He was the kind of man that others would look to and consider a great success.
B. His wealth was of this world. (16)
1. There is no indication that it was gained wrongfully.
2. There is no sin in having wealth, the sin is in hoarding it!
3. It is the 'love of money' that is the root of all evil. (cf 1Ti. 6:10)
C. He made some mistakes because his thinking was worldly. (17-19)
1. He made a mistake concerning his prosperity.
a. He took the credit, never once acknowledging God's blessings upon his life.
b. Notice the repeated use of the personal pronouns "I" and "My".
c. All he could think about was himself, not unlike many today.
2. He made a mistake concerning his security.
a. It seemed to him that he would be on 'easy street' for many years.
b. There would be no retirement worries for him.
c. Note: v19b "...take thine ease..."
3. He made a mistake concerning eternity.
a. Like so many today, he had no thought beyond this present life.
b. He had prepared many of his fields for future harvests, but had not sought to prepare his own heart for eternity.
c. God said, "...This night thy soul shall be required of thee..."
d. He would harvest his deeds...not his fields.
III. The Penalty of Covetousness. v20-21
A. Classed with fools.
1. A fool is described as one who is silly, stupid, perverse, and wicked.
2. The sin of covetousness will place a person in that category.
3. The world may still view them as a success or even as one to be admired, but God views them as a fool.
B. Cut off from life.
1. He thought ahead to the many years of the easy life, but he failed to consider what a difference one night could make.
2. You may be here this morning thinking that you have plenty of time.
3. So often people put off until it is too late that which is most important...your relationship with Jesus Christ.
4. James tells us that life is brief, like a vapor that appears for a little while and then is gone!
5. What if you knew that this was your last day on this earth, would you about your need for salvation differently?
6. "...Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." cf 2Co. 6:2
C. Condemnation for all eternity.
1. He left it all behind, so will we!
2. He had spent his life amassing things, but went out into eternity without the most important possession of all---eternal life!
3. Where will you spend eternity? The choice is ours!
Covetousness is not confined to the wealthy. This same attitude can be manifested in the lives of people without much material goods. It is an attitude of the heart. It involves putting self before everything and everyone else. To a person who is lost it will mean eternity in hell.
This spirit can also manifest itself in the lives of believers. It will destroy our witness to the world around us. It will rob us of spiritual blessings that God desires to pour out upon us. It can bring the hand of God's chastening upon our lives. Jesus said, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness:"