So is he - That is, thus will it be. This is not an individual case; all who make this life their portion, and who are destitute of the peace and salvation of God, shall, sooner or later, be surprised in the same way.
Layeth up treasure for himself - This is the essential characteristic of a covetous man: he desires riches; he gets them; he lays them up, not for the necessary uses to which they might be devoted, but for himself; to please himself, and to gratify his avaricious soul. Such a person is commonly called a miser, i.e. literally, a wretched, miserable man.
So is he - This is the portion or the doom.
Layeth up treasure for himself - Acquires riches for his own use - for “himself.” This is the characteristic of the covetous man. It is all for “himself.” His plans terminate there. He lives only for himself, and acts only with regard to his own interest.
Rich toward God - Has no inheritance in the kingdom of God - no riches laid up in heaven. His affections are all fixed on this world, and he has none for God.
From this instructive parable we learn:
1. That wicked people are often signally prospered - their ground brings forth plentifully. God gives them their desire, but sends leanness into their souls.
2. That riches bring with them always an increasing load of cares and anxieties.
3. That they steal away the affections from God - are sly, insinuating, and dangerous to the soul.
4. That the anxiety of a covetous man is not what “good” he may do with his wealth, but where he may hoard it, and keep it secure from doing any good.
5. That riches cannot secure their haughty owners from the grave. Death will come upon them suddenly, unexpectedly, awfully. In the very midst of the brightest anticipations - in a moment - in the twinkling of an eye it may come, and all the wealth that has been accumulated cannot alleviate one pang, or drive away one fear, or prolong life for one moment.
6. That the man who is trusting to his riches in this manner is a fool in the sight of God. Soon, also, he will be a fool in his “own” sight, and will go to hell with the consciousness that his life has been one of eminent folly.
7. That the path of true wisdom is to seek first the kingdom of God, and to be ready to die; and “then” it matters little what is our portion here, or how suddenly or soon we are called away to meet our Judge. If our affections are not fixed on our riches, we shall leave them without regret. If our treasures are laid up in heaven, death will be but “going home,” and happy will be that moment when we are called to our rest.
Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase. Proverbs 3:9. SD 275.1
Are you not chosen of God to be a vessel unto honor, to convey light and truth to those who are in error and darkness? The saving message of truth has come to you, and if you receive of the spirit of Christ, you will have a love for the souls who are in peril.58The Youth's Instructor, June 29, 1893. SD 275.2Read in context »
The poor man who has faith and confidence in God, who trusts in His love and care, and who abounds in good works, judiciously using the little he has in blessing others with his means, is rich toward God. He feels that his neighbor has claims upon him that he cannot disregard and yet obey the commandment of God: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” The poor who are rich toward God consider the salvation of their fellow men of greater importance than all the gold and silver that the world contains. 2T 681.1
Christ points out the way in which those who have worldly riches and yet are not rich toward God may secure the true riches. He says: Sell that ye have, and give alms, and lay up treasure in heaven. The remedy He proposes for the wealthy is a transfer of their affections from earthly riches to the eternal inheritance. By investing their means in the cause of God to aid in the salvation of souls, and by blessing the needy with their means, they become rich in good works and are “laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” This will prove a safe investment. But many show by their works that they dare not trust in the bank of heaven. They choose to trust their means in the earth rather than send it before them to heaven, that their hearts may be upon their heavenly treasure. 2T 681.2
My brother, you have a work before you, to strive to overcome covetousness and love of worldly riches, and especially self-confidence because you have had apparent success in securing the things of this world. Poor rich men, professing to serve God, are objects of pity. While they profess to know God, in works they deny Him. How great is the darkness of such! They profess faith in the truth, but their works do not correspond with their profession. The love of riches makes men selfish, exacting, and overbearing. Wealth is power; and frequently the love of it depraves and paralyzes all that is noble and godlike in man. 2T 681.3Read in context »
This class had made self supreme, laboring only for selfish interests. They were not rich toward God, not having responded to His claims upon them. Although professing to be servants of Christ, they brought no souls to Him. Had the cause of God been dependent on their efforts, it would have languished; for they not only withheld the means lent them of God, but they withheld themselves. But these could now see and feel that in occupying an irresponsible position in reference to the work and cause of God they had placed themselves on the left hand. They had had opportunity, but would not do the work that they could and should have done. 4T 386.1
The names of all who profess the truth were mentioned. Some were reproved for their unbelief, others for having been slothful servants. They had allowed others to do the work in the Master's vineyard, and to bear the heaviest responsibilities, while they were selfishly serving their own temporal interests. Had they cultivated the abilities God had given them, they could have been reliable burden bearers, working for the interest of the Master. Said the Judge: “All will be justified by their faith and judged by their works.” How vividly then appeared their neglect, and how wise the arrangement of God in giving to every man a work to do to promote the cause and save his fellow men. Each was to demonstrate a living faith in his family and in his neighborhood, by showing kindness to the poor, sympathizing with the afflicted, engaging in missionary labor, and by aiding the cause of God with his means. But, like Meroz, the curse of God rested upon them for what they had not done. They had loved that work which would bring the greatest profit in this life; and opposite their names in the ledger devoted to good works there was a mournful blank. 4T 386.2
The words spoken to these were most solemn: “You are weighed in the balances, and found wanting. You have neglected spiritual responsibilities because of busy activity in temporal matters, while your very position of trust made it necessary that you should have more than human wisdom and greater than finite judgment. This you needed in order to perform even the mechanical part of your labor; and when you disconnected God and His glory from your business, you turned from His blessing.” 4T 386.3Read in context »
Your only safety was in implicit trust in Christ, your Saviour. There was no safety for you away from the cross. How weak human strength seemed in this instance! Oh, how evident that there is no real strength but that which God imparts to those who trust in Him! One petition offered up to God in faith has more power than a wealth of human intellect. 2T 279.1
In your prosperity you did not carry out the resolves you had made in adversity. The deceitfulness of riches turned you from your purposes. Cares increased upon you. Your influence became extended. As the afflicted realized relief from suffering, they glorified you, and you learned to love praise from the lips of poor mortals. You were in a popular city, and thought it necessary for the success of your business, as well as to retain your influence, for your surroundings to be somewhat in accordance with your business. But you carried things too far. You were swayed too much by the opinions and judgment of others. You expended means needlessly, only to gratify the lust of the eye and the pride of life. You forgot that you were handling your Lord's money. When means were expended by you which would only encourage vanity, you did not consider that the recording angel was making a record which you would blush to meet again. Said the angel, pointing to you: “You glorified yourself, but did not magnify God.” You even gloried in the fact that it was in your power to purchase these things. 2T 279.2
A large sum has been expended in needless things which could only answer for show and encourage vanity and pride that will cause you remorse and shame. If you had borne in mind the claims Heaven has upon you and had made a right disposition of the means entrusted to your care, by helping the needy and advancing the cause of present truth, you would have been laying up treasure in heaven and would have been rich toward God. Consider how much means you have invested where no one has been really benefited, no one fed or clothed, and no one helped to see the error of his ways that he might turn to Christ and live. 2T 279.3Read in context »