Not Rich Toward God

Bible:

And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until the morning light. In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And about ten days later the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.

When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord who has avenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. The Lord has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent and spoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife. When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.” And she rose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, “Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” And Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey, and her five young women attended her. She followed the messengers of David and became his wife. I Samuel 25:36-42 ESV

And [Jesus] told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: 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 ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21 ESV

Reflection:

Have you ever heard of a miser? Misers are people who try to keep all of their riches for themselves. They aren’t willing to share or to use their money to make anyone else happy. Did you ever hear of a miser named Toby Sizer? A poem about him says:

Old Toby Sizer is such a miser,
No cloak he’ll buy to keep him dry, sir;
He’ll not permit his neighbor Randal
To light his pipe by his short candle
For fear, he says, he might convey
A little bit of light away.

How silly! Letting someone else light something from a candle just adds to the light. It doesn’t make the light weaker!

Nabal was a miser. He wasn’t willing to spend money to make other people happy or to share his good times with David and his men. He wanted to keep everything for himself. When his wife Abigail told him what had happened, he seems to have had a stroke, he was so shocked. Maybe it was because he realized what danger he had been in. But maybe it was because he was upset to hear that some of his riches had been spent on someone else. Nabal didn’t realize the joy there was in making others happy with his wealth. All he could think about was how he had lost some of what he had. Several days later he died, and left all his wealth behind.

Jesus told a story about a rich fool who kept piling up more and more things until he felt he was ready to retire and enjoy life. He never shared with others or tried to make other people happy, and God wasn’t part of his life. God brought him to death before he could enjoy everything he had piled up.

Everyone will die, rich or poor, selfish or unselfish. What happens after death depends on whether a person is rich toward God or not. No matter how unselfish we are or how much we give other people, we can never be rich enough toward God on our own. But God spent everything he had to bring us back to him. He came to us in Jesus and went all the way to the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. Because of Jesus, we are rich toward God. God gives us blessings to enjoy in this life, and we are happy to share with others and make others happy with what God gives us.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all the blessings you give us. Help us to find happiness in sharing with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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