FREE WILL AND A RICH FOOL
By Wayne Camp
Luke 12:16-20 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
I am always a little hesitant to call anyone a fool. As a matter of fact, it is not I who has called this man a fool. God designated him a fool. Therefore, I have Biblical authority to call him a fool for a fool he was.
This man was apparently not a fool when it came to farming. He had made a marvelous crop and one does not do that with foolish farming. I speak from experience as a farmer and friend of farmers.
This man also gave evidence of being a shrewd planner. When he saw that he was going to have a bountiful harvest he immediately began to plan for the preserving of those fruits and grains. He gave the matter some careful thought and came of with a plan.
There was a problem with all that he was doing, however. He failed to consider the will of God. He was a champion of the alleged free will of man but failed to consider the will of God, which always supersedes the will of man. One who truly has free will does not only have the power to plan and determine something; he has the power to fulfill his plan. And, only God has such power and freedom of will. What he purposes, he always brings to pass.
When this rich man had thought on the matter, he said, "This will I do . . ." He had no doubt he would do exactly what he had purposed. He said, "I will pull down my barns." He was determined and confident he would do just that; he would pull down every barn he had to make way for the construction of greater barns. And, he said, "I will build greater (barns)." Again there was no doubt in his mind that he would do it. After all, do not many preach and teach that man has a "free will" and can do what ever he wills to do. This man also declared, "There will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul . . ."
"BUT GOD said . . ." Two little words that are found in the Bible that strike awe into the hearts of true believers. "But God." This man never pulled down his first barn as he had willed to do. This man did not even removed the first nail from the first board as he willed to do. He did not build the first greater barn. He did not even get a footing dug for the first great barn he freely willed to build. He did not even gather the first apple, or olive, or grape, or date, or head of grain from his bountiful crop. He did not make the first glass of wine to drink. He did not fix the first bowl of fruit from his new crop. His freely willed projects were never started, much less accomplished. He proposed but God disposed! If his will had truly been free, he would have accomplished what he planned.
He should have said, "If God wills, I will." (James 4:13-15). Paul said, ". . . to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good." Even as a saved man, Paul realized he was not fully free in his will. When a person does the will of God it is because God works in him "both to will and to do of his good pleasure." When a person willingly comes to Christ it is because God has made him willing to do so for his "people shall be willing in the day of his power." (Psa. 110:3).
God calls the man a fool who puts stock in his own alleged free will and does not consider the will of God. "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee." Will all you wish, but only God is free to fulfill his will each and every time!
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Last updated on Friday, March 04, 2011