After talking about choosing between God and money, Jesus tells a cautionary parable. The parable illustrates the result of choosing the wrong master. The rich man had a great life and Lazarus was a beggar. In their lives, the rich man had no incentive or desire to assist Lazarus and literally watched the beggar die at his doorstep. Then, the rich man also dies and ends up in Hades; where it is all torment, all the time. In contrast, Lazarus is resting in Heaven with Father Abraham.
Now, the Rich man is reaching out and begging for relief. Abraham sadly, but firmly says no. He tells the rich man that he made a choice on earth and is bearing the consequence of that choice. What is more, there is no crossing over–that has been made impossible.
Then, a more chilling answer. The rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his family of the cost of the rich man’s choice so that they might avoid the torment he was experiencing. Sadly, Abraham tells the once rich man, that they have been warned by Moses and the prophets. If they would not listen to that, they would not even listen to one raised from the dead.
In our lives, we are faced daily with the choice of serving God or serving ourselves and the world. The choice takes on various forms and states, but in the end, it is still the choice of serving God or serving the world. Both choices yield results. Often serving oneself is easier and more comforting in the short term. From an eternal perspective, however, rejecting God’s plan for our lives leaves us separated and lost.
Conversely, if we will trust God, in all circumstance, realize that He is faithful to supply all our needs, follow Him in all our ways–then the Lord will lead us through this brief journey and take us home to be with Him for eternity.
It is our daily choice to play the short or the long game. There is no doubt which choice is easier. There is also no doubt which choice is better. It takes us back to Joshua at his final address to Israel as they entered and took the promised land, “Choose this day whom you will serve…As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” Joshua 24:15.
God Bless You
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”