And he spoke a parable to them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:…
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH HE WAS PLACED,
1. That riches, with their attendant comforts and influence, are to be regarded as the bestowments of Providence; not to be considered as the recompence of independent human effort, but ever subject to the superintendence and arrangement of Him who is the author of every good and perfect gift.
2. That riches, with their attendant comforts and influence, furnish means for extended usefulness, and place in the hands of the possessor a power which he should employ in promoting the temporal and the spiritual welfare of his fellowmen.
3. That riches, with their attendant comforts and influence, involve the pressure of a solemn responsibility. They are granted, on a principle of stewardship, and with an obligation to account.
II. THE MEDITATIONS IN WHICH HE INDULGED.
1. Imperfection and sin existed in the state of him mind as to the source of his possessions. There is no allusion to God, as the giver of the good in which he delighted; there is no acknowledgment of dependence, there is no aspiration of gratitude. He looks with complacency on the amount of his possessions; and then, in the inflation of vanity, and in the calculating spirit of worldly wisdom, he proceeds to arrange his plans, as if perfectly independent of all obligations and of all responsibility to a superior Being.
2. Imperfection and sin existed in the intended application of property. A portion of his wealth was to be expended in enlarging his accommodations, and then his possessions were to be accumulated in one vast hoard, to remain in the treasure-house untouched, except for the purpose of securing some additional advantage. Ought there not to have been some act of charity to man, or some gift to the temple of God?
3. Imperfection and sin existed in the mode of calculating on futurity. The rich man, you will perceive, assumed, with a strong and an undoubting confidence, that no event would happen, to interfere with the accomplishment of his plans, and that he should possess a long period of existence, and of happiness.
4. Imperfection and sin existed in the nature of desired and anticipated enjoyment. "Take thine ease; eat, drink, and be merry." The guilt connected with the intention thus expressed as to the pleasure of future life, is twofold. First there is indicated a fondness for indulgences, in themselves utterly unworthy of the intellectual nature with which man is endowed; and secondly, there is a careful and an entire exclusion of all that belongs to the interests and redemption of the soul.
III. THE REPROOF BY WHICH HE WAS ARRESTED.
1. AS to the event announced in the message of God — how momentous! "Thy soul shall be required of thee." It comprehends his removal from the substance on which he had doated. His toil, his scheming, his rising early, his sitting up late, his eating the bread of carefulness, were now to end, and to be discovered as having been rendered in vain.
2. As to the time when this event was to be fulfilled — how soon it was to come! — "This night!" Almost as soon as he had uttered his grovelling dreamings, was his last change to be undergone. It was a brief space indeed! The poison of death was circulating rapidly within him: the shadows of the evening portended the deeper darkness of the grave; and ere another sun arose, his destiny would be sealed.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: