Parable #7. Rich Fool builds bigger barns:
- Today is Day #7
- The Seventh Mashal of Messiah
- Twelve Observations
- Five Questions
- The Land of a rich man was very productive
- We are all in this test together
- The Love of Self-talk and the Cult of Me
- How is this relevant to our lives today?
- Why was it necessary for the heavenly Father to appear in the narrative?
- An End to the Search for the faithful Rich Son
Today is Day #7:
1. Today is “Day #7” in the forty-nine day Countdown to Shavuot.
2. Today is seven days which are one week of the Omer.
.היום שבעה ימים, שהם שבוע אחד בעומר
Haiyom shiv’ah yamim, shehaym shavuah echad ba’omer.
“You shall count for yourselves — from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving — seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days.” (Leviticus). “You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavu’ot for Adonai Eloheinu.” (Deuteronomy). “Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.”
ברוך אתה, אדוני אלוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצוונו על ספירת העומר.פ
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
The Seventh Mashal of Messiah:
וַיִּשָּׂא מְשָׁלוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם לֵאמֹר שְׂדֵה אִישׁ עָשִׁיר אֶחָד עָשָׂה תְּבוּאָה הַרְבֵּה׃ וַיַּחְשֹׁב בְּלִבּוֹ לֵאמֹר מָה־אֶעֱשֶׂה כִּי אֵין־לִי מָקוֹם לֶאֱסוֹף אֶת־תְּבוּאָתִי׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֶת־זֹאת אֶעֱשֶׂה הָרֹס אֲסָמַי וּבָנֹה גְּדוֹלִים מֵהֶם וְאֶכְנְסָה שָׁמָּה אֶת־כָּל־יְבוּלִי וְטוּבִי׃ וְאֹמַר לְנַפְשִׁי נַפְשִׁי יֶשׁ־לָךְ טוֹבָה הַרְבֵּה לְשָׁנִים רַבּוֹת הִנָּפְשִׁי אִכְלִי שְׁתִי וְשִׂישִׂי׃ וְהָאֱלֹהִים אָמַר לוֹ אַתָּה הַכְּסִיל בְּעֶצֶם הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה יִדְרְשׁוּ מִמְּךָ אֶת־נַפְשֶׁךָ וַאֲשֶׁר הֲכִינוֹתָ לְּךָ לְמִי יִהְיֶה׃ זֶה חֵלֶק הָאֹצֵר לוֹ אֹצָרוֹת וְלֹא יַעְשִׁיר בֵּאלֹהִים׃
He [the Mashiach] took up His parable, and said to them, “The field of a certain rich man produced an abundant crop. He thought in his heart, saying, ‘What will I do? For I do not have a place to gather my crop?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my storehouses and build larger ones, where I can store all of my produce and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘My soul, you have abundant (material) goodness for many years. Rest, eat, drink and rejoice!’ But the Almighty said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul will be sought (required) from you. As for what you have prepared for yourself, whose will it be?’ This is the portion of one who stores up storehouses for himself but does not become rich in Adonai (בֵּאלֹהִים).”
Observation #1. Rich Man: “I, I, I, I, my, my, my, my, my, my, my.“
My soul, My soul (נַפְשִׁי נַפְשִׁי),
My soul (נָּפְשִׁי).
Observation #2. Adonai:
“You fool!” (אַתָּה הַכְּסִיל from to be “foolish,” “stupid,” “fleshly,” “fat”-סָכַל)
“This very night your soul (נַפְשֶׁךָ) will be sought (required) from you.”
“As for what you have prepared for yourself, whose will it be?”
“This is the portion of one who stores up storehouses for himself but does not become rich in Adonai.”
Observation #3. On behalf of the rich: In the rabbinic tradition the rich are rich and the poor are poor because the Almighty has made it so. It is also believed that there are more advantages than disadvantages to being rich. So, if the Holy One has made you rich, then be rich.
Observation #4. On behalf of the poor: In the prophetic tradition the poor are poor and the rich are rich because the Almighty has made it so. It is believed, however, there are more advantages than disadvantages to being poor. So, if the Holy One has made you poor, be poor.
Observation #5. On behalf of those who are neither rich or poor: In the middle is the prophet-king David. The Beloved’s prayer was that the Almighty not make him so poor that he might steal, nor so rich that He would be tempted to forget Adonai.
Observation #6. According to Messiah Ben Joseph, Ben David what is critical for us here is to understand, whatever our calling, the three challenges of “testing,” “wisdom” (spiritual wealth) and “riches” (material wealth).
Observation #7. Testing is very much about perseverance in one’s calling. Are you called to be poor? Then do not steal from your brother. Are you called to be rich? Then be generous to your brother who is poor. Are you in the middle? Then be honest in your worship (your work, labor, daily living). Be true to your word. Be faithful to give your tithes and offerings (as you have promised) to the Holy One.
Observation #8. In the testing of the Almighty a different burden is assigned to each individual but the expectation of the Divinity is that the three (poor, middle, rich) will work together as a collective (as a team; as a family; as if we were one person). Each individual must shoulder his own unique Divine assignment in a manner that compliments the other individuals and their assignments (as members of the one body). This is not socialism. The government is not the owner of you and me and all our property and possessions. Neither is it capitalism. Only the Holy One is the owner of you and me and all our possessions. Neither is this a Theocracy. Israel is a Family. For although the Almighty created the universe, and owns it, He did not make us His slaves. The Father of All (Avi-khol) made us His sons and daughters. Slaves are made to obey. Children are taught. And what is taught is tested!
Observation #9. And the biggest thing about this test is if we don’t quit we will get “wisdom.” Wisdom is spiritual riches. If we pass The Test (individually and collectively as a family) then we will amass both a material and spiritual fortune (together), both in the here-and-now and in eternity: “Do not lay up your treasure (only) here on earth where moth and rust destroys and thief can steal but lay up your treasure (also) in heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy and thief cannot steal.”
Observation #10. Now why should the rich man be concerned about The Test? Does he not have everything he wants? Since the Almighty gave him his wealth what is wrong with the rich man just doing whatever he wants with it?
Observation #11. The answer is “wisdom.” The rich fool says in his heart there is no G-d, therefore, “I will eat, drink, and be happy; for tomorrow I will die.” In contrast: The wise man does not base his life on such a foolish, false premise because he knows and fears the Almighty. He says in his heart, “the wealth I have is not mine, it was entrusted to me by the Almighty.” “What shall I do for I am being greatly tested?” The wise (rich) man will, therefore, search out the matter and he will not rest until he has determined what is required of him and he has done exactly what the Holy One has directed him to do. For the wise man knows there will be an accounting of him by the Holy One, now and also when his testing here on earth is complete.
Observation #12. Therefore, our testing is the ‘thread’ that holds all of our lives together. If we persevere in trusting the All-Sufficient One (El Shaddai), who is Abba our Father, then we will gain wisdom now in this life and the eternal wealth that it brings (in the life to come). However, if we fail the test and do not persevere but instead we wickedly offend the Almighty, by disrespectfully saying He does not exist and or that He does not reward those who hear, understand and obey Him, then we are to be most pitied:
For we will have lost the eternal blessedness and reward The Father most generously offers to all.
In our regret and sorrow we will say, “If only I had been more wise and sincerely searched out the matter of my calling, then I would have come to know the immeasurable riches of His blessings and the unsearchable goodness of His wisdom.” In regret you will lament, “Why did I waste this good life that Abba Avinu gave to me?” With this sobering three-fold challenge of testing, wisdom, and riches still fresh in our minds let us now study the Seventh Parable of Messiah, the parable of the “Rich Fool builds bigger barns:”
“And He told them a mashal (מָשָׁל-parable), saying, ‘The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: 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 many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.’ But the Almighty said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward Adonai.”
Question #1. Why is the “Land” the subject of the opening line and not the rich man?
Question #2. What is the “Reasoning” of the rich man and how is this relevant to us today?
Question #3. Why was it necessary for the heavenly Father to appear and render “Judgment” in the narrative?
Question #4. What is the meaning of Adonai’s words, “Now who will own what you have prepared?”
Question #5. What does the phrase “Rich in Adonai” mean?
The Land of a rich man was very productive:
“And He told them a mashal, saying, ‘The land of a rich man was very productive.’”
Under the Covenant of Adonai with Israel there is a relationship between the people’s obedience and the fruitfulness of the land (Deuteronomy 28:1-2). If the people will love each one his neighbor and be faithful to the Almighty, then Avinu Shebashamayim (our Father in heaven) will command His blessing upon our storehouses and upon all that we put our hand to. If the people of Israel would obey Adonai the Almighty One would for us open His good storehouse and bless us beyond anything that we could ask or think (Deuteronomy 28:12):
Open for them His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to the Land in its season and to bless all the work of their hand.
If the people of Israel would do as our Father in heaven required, then He would make Israel a lender to many nations and not a debtor. Therefore, at the beginning of the parable when we read that the land had yielded plentifully, the wise hearers would have immediately thought of this Covenant between Adonai and His people Israel. Those who had understanding would have known immediately that Messiah was not just referring to the rich man being tested. He was referring to all of us being tested: rich, poor and in the middle. Because the Messiah and all those who are wise know:
We are all in this test together:
It only takes one solitary Jew to endanger the blessing of the Covenant. The Covenant of the Land was not with individuals but with all of the People of the Land together. Messiah was teaching AmIsrael (the People of Israel) and His disciples about the danger of our individually and collectively walking into the trap of making our lives and happiness depend solely upon our own individual efforts. We must be one with Adonai and each other. What are we without complete dependence upon Adonai? We are nothing. What are we with complete dependence upon Adonai? We are everything! Yet, it is even not enough that some of us are one with Adonai. We must all be one with Adonai. All Israel must and will be saved! Therefore, the Messiah speaks of this necessary perfect unity when He prays to our Father:
פ“אֲנִי נָתַתִּי לָהֶם אֶת הַכָּבוֹד שֶׁנָּתַתָּ לִי, לְמַעַן יִהְיוּ אֶחָד כְּמוֹ שֶׁאֲנַחְנוּ אֶחָד. אֲנִי בָּהֶם וְאַתָּה בִּי כְּדֵי שֶׁיֻּשְׁלְמוּ לִהְיוֹתָם אֶחָד, לְמַעַן יֵדַע הָעוֹלָם כִּי אַתָּה שְׁלַחְתַּנִי וְאָהַבְתָּ אוֹתָם כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָהַבְתָּ אוֹתִי. אָבִי, אֵלֶּה שֶׁנְּתַתָּם לִי רְצוֹנִי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ גַּם הֵם אִתִּי בַּאֲשֶׁר אֲנִי, לְמַעַן יֶחֱזוּ בִּכְבוֹדִי אֲשֶׁר נָתַתָּ לִי, כִּי אָהַבְתָּ אוֹתִי מִלִּפְנֵי הִוָּסֵד תֵּבֵל.”פ
“The glory (הַכָּבוֹד) which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one (אֶחָד-echad, a unity), just as We are one (אֶחָד-echad); I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity (שֶׁיֻּשְׁלְמוּ לִהְיוֹתָם אֶחָד- exist in שָׁלַם-shalom-אֶחָד-echad; i.e. complete and perfect unity), so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me” (וְאָהַבְתָּ אוֹתָם כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָהַבְתָּ אוֹתִי). Remarkably, this last phrase of the Mashiach means:
HaAv [Avinu Shebashamayim] loves you and me just as much as He loves the Messiah.
“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
In an earlier time in his teaching, the Master had spoken of the need for AmIsrael not to worry about their lives in terms of food, clothing, and shelter. The Master asked His fellow Hebrews (a more ancient scriptural identification than ‘Yehudim’) to put their complete trust in our Father in Heaven (Avinu Shebashamayim) to practically and supernaturally meet all of the needs of “His Family.’’
Messiah illustrated the caring capabilities of the Heavenly Father by directing Israel’s attention toward His perpetual and perfect care of the “birds” and “flowers.” How they do not sow, reap or gather into storehouses (אֲסָמִים), nor do they spin thread or need to sew together clothing (לְּבוּשׁ). Yet the Father in heaven, who knows full well all His children’s needs, He has provided food, protection, and shelter for them. So, the Messiah asked: “If the Father does all these things for the small birds and the flowers, how much more will the Father do to provide for His own children, the children of His Family that He (Abba Avinu) loves?” However, the challenge of fidelity to one’s own family was not assigned to Abba Avinu alone. The Covenant of Adonai with Israel was a two-party agreement:
The Holy One would never disown His own family by word or by action.
But we the people could disown the Father (Elohim Avinu) of our family both by our “words” and our “actions.” The fact is that the fruitfulness of the land is dependent upon we the people’s obedience (Deuteronomy 28:1-2).
This Covenant has put AmIsrael, the children of the heavenly Father, to a personal test: If we would be faithful to the Father and each one of us would love his neighbor, then the Father in heaven would command a great blessing upon our storehouses and all that we would (together; i.e. in shalom and echad) put our hands to.
The All-Sufficient One (אל שדי-El Shaddai), who put His chosen people into the Land, promised on the sacredness of His own Name to open for us His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to our land in its season and to bless all the work of our hands; and we would be made a lender to many nations, but not be a borrower ourselves (cf. Deuteronomy 28:12).
Therefore, at the beginning of the mashal when we read that the land had yielded plentifully, the wise hearers would have immediately thought of this as a corporate (family) opportunity that was given as a test of the Covenant between Adonai and all of His children. To the wise the failure of even one rich and powerful Jew to obey the trust of the Holy One would have sickened them. “What a lost opportunity for all of us” they would have thought. For the trusted Rich Man (in faith, science, politics, etc; you fill in the blanks) could have been our great champion and tragically instead, he was only our fool!
If the Rich Man had been faithful to Adonai the Holy One would have most certainly added to his blessing.
So then if the Rich Man had been faithful to Adonai under the Law of the Family of Israel even more people would have been blessed. Instead the foolish Rich Man was just another unwise, failed potential. The Rich Man was just one more Jewish leader who completely failed to understand why he was assigned (trusted with) riches in the first place—by the One who always has and always will permanently own everything (כִּי לַיהוה הָאָרֶץ וּמְלוֹאָהּ).
The Love of Self-talk and Self-idolatry:
“And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: 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 many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”
Did you notice in the narrative section of the parable just given that in just three sentences there are ten possessive pronouns? Six times “I” is used. Five times the rich fool refers to “My” crops, My barns, My grain, My goods, and My soul. Then one time each he refers to himself in the third person as a “you” and “your” when the rich fool says, ‘you’ have many goods laid up for many years to come; take ‘your’ ease, eat, drink and be merry.” Therefore there are seven affirmations (*lies) here which, like a deadly trap, turn a potential rich man in Adonai into a rich fool:
My soul, My soul,
You have many goods,
Take Your ease, eat, drink and be merry!
*Everything belongs to Adonai. All of creation is the permanent property of the Creator (היוצר-Hayotzer, literally the Author of all Creation). We are only wise or foolish stewards of what we have been temporarily entrusted with. All that we have, therefore, must one day be returned to Adonai Avinu; then He will decide what He wishes to do next with His Property.
“And he began reasoning to himself...” The faulty reasoning of the first Rich Man (Adam), who acted independently of the reasoning of the Righteous Father, is what got the Human family into a mess in the first place. The Creator never chose to reject His own children. The children chose to reject their Father in heaven. Our first parents began to reason according to their own individual Self-life. This was the ultimate recipe for trouble. When the first Man and Woman became spiritually separated from the Head of our Family we all of Adam’s line became (spiritually) separated and estranged from each other too. Then we became a very easy soft target for the evil one to exploit and harm.
If all of the rich men (and women) of the nation and people of Yisra’el today continue to make the same horrible choice of the first Adam then ultimately this will lead us all to the same fate of our living together under the unending curse of estrangement with Hayotzer (the Creator) and each other. Therefore, the most important question before us is:
When will we once again begin to trust Avinu Shebashamayim and let him help us truly become His Family of shalom and echad?
This is the central issue of the Seventh Parable of Messiah, “Will we trust our Father who dwells in heaven to bring us into a state of perfect harmony and shalom or Someone, or Something else?” (i.e. a substitute for G-d, an Idol). The beginning of the breakdown in our Human Family was when, in both word and deed, there was a breakdown in the trust between our heavenly Father and His firstborn Rich Son. When did this sin of the firstborn son begin? His sin began when he embraced faith in his own foolish self-judgment; instead of relying solely upon the all-wise judgment of our Father in heaven.
How is this relevant to our lives today?
In our present pathological and psychotic state (we have completely broken away from true reality, which is “being in harmony with G-d’s thoughts and feelings”) in the modern world today we resist our Father in heaven’s benevolent, nurturing overtures and we definitively reject His affectionate pleas to re-adopt us (cf. Hosea 2); both physically (important) and spiritually (most important). Instead of trusting in Adonai we now worship at the altar of our own Self-sufficiency. Apparently we still don’t seem to know or understand that our belief in our self-sufficiency is actually belief in a very destructive lie.
Modern Psychology and Psychiatry have not been a help here. Many of the historical founders of my chosen profession (I am a psychotherapist, my mentor was trained by one of Sigmund Freud’s disciples) have mislabeled our natural human feelings of dependency as only being pathological. The term “pathology” is oftentimes a veiled term we use in modern medicine to refer to what “we think” is evil. The horribly misguided promotion of Western Society’s love affair with gross individualism and self-sufficiency coupled with our pop culture’s obsessive love of the Strength of Self is making it less and less likely that any of us will ever break-out of this Cult of Me. Modern Attachment Theory (Ainsworth 1973, Bowlby 1969) has been a welcome correction to the hyper-promotion of the Cult of Me. Attachment theory suggests that not only is it not functional (healthy) to believe we are a Self (separate from all others) but in reality such a thing is an absolute impossibility for us.
Point #1. Through Attachment Theory we have discovered that we are made in such a way that we are all Social Creatures:
Point #2. Attachment is a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space.
We were made to “exist in harmony together.” We are not naturally constituted for such physiological and emotional isolation as attempting to live in a state of estrangement from all others. The cost of prolonged social isolation is a complete physical, psychological and spiritual breakdown. Under such unwholesome conditions we simply deteriorate.
Why was it necessary for the heavenly Father to appear in the narrative?
The Righteous Father personally appears in the narrative to exercise His responsibility to administer the Covenant that He made with His firstborn (national) Son, corporate Israel. It is absolutely critical that the Holy One appear in the narrative so that He might personally convey to the Rich Fool that although he failed personally in the testing he had just been given, his actions as a chosen servant had also created adverse consequences for the entire human race. Yes, the Rich fool in the narrative is not an “individual.” The Rich Fool is a nation and a people! Avinu Shebashamayim appears in Messiah’s parable to let us know that He has searched all the world over, throughout all human history, and that no nation has truly been a good steward of His Test of Wealth. The question is:
Who will be the nation, land, and people who will be Rich in Adonai?
The Holy One is still searching to find any nation, land and people who are a deserving servant. So far all have failed. Yes the Messiah, the Individual Servant of the Holy One has succeeded. He alone is Rich in Adonai. But where is the nation who will follow Him into the greatness that Adonai has promised to those who put their trust in the one He has sent?
Only one among us has ever qualified Himself to rule over all of the wealth of the Father’s Treasure House.
The heavenly Father has, therefore, appeared to us in the prophetic narrative to make it known that this chosen Rich Son of His is the only one capable of properly administering all of the stewardship that has been personally entrusted to Him. And this Son is one of us. He is a Jew! Therefore, until Israel, the chosen firstborn nation, land and people of all the world puts his trust in the Messiah, the whole world will suffer, because: We are all in this Human Family together and we cannot usher in the Kingdom of Adonai without the Help of both the Messiah, who is Rich in Adonai, and the cooperation of Israel, the firstborn nation and chosen people of Messiah and Adonai!
Failure followed by an End to the Search for the faithful Rich Son:
The announcement that yet another Rich Man Son (among the nations) had failed to fulfill the Covenant (cf. covenants of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and the Messiah), and that he, the firstborn son of the nations, had failed sufficient to (temporarily) forfeit his own soul, leads us to the final question of the mashal:
“Now who will own what you have prepared?”
The answer is that all that exists belongs to Adonai. He is the lawful owner of everything that exists. If a nation, any nation, cannot be a proper steward of the properties and opportunities that have been entrusted to it by Adonai, then those treasures will be taken away and given to another. In the case of first century Israel, chosen by Adonai as His firstborn son before all other nations, they refused to be Rich in Adonai. Therefore its treasures were temporarily confiscated and given to others. This is why the heavenly Father personally personally had to appear in the narrative. As Adonai Elohei Yisrael and Melekh HaGoyim (the King of all the Nations) He had to discipline His firstborn son.
The Holy One had to administer the liquidation of this Rich Fool’s trust!
As for what Adonai will do in the future, He will just keep testing the successive Rich Nation Sons until He finds one who is completely able to fulfill all His Covenant and, thereby, become a blessing to all of the human family. Such a wise *National Son will distribute all of the treasures of Adonai (through His Rich Son) to all of humanity. The wise rich National Son will not be storing-up anything. For He will not be able to cease receiving and giving-away the immeasurable wealth and unlimited resources of our heavenly Father.
The wise Son, Rich in Adonai, will give all that He receives to all who are in need.
So will Abba Avinu take that successful Rich National Son and make Him Ruler over all the treasures of His Household and all of the nations and peoples of the world. Who is the One “who is rich toward the Almighty?” He is the Messiah Yeshua, who is the Author of this mashal, and the *New Israel and International Commonwealth of Israel that we pray is soon to come! Amen. Amen!
*There is coming a new day and a new generation when all Israel shall be saved! We tell you a secret. This is a true saying: no nation will ever permanently pass the Test of the Rich Man but the nation of Israel.