"The man who cheats, deceives, and lies destroys himself."
With the above portion of the stated moral of the story, I wholeheartedly agree. With no intent to belabor the simplicity of the message, there are many unanswered variables, and my first thought is "How could that be?"
Surely, God "blessed" this man with his wealth through his intelligent and ethical adherence to sound biblical financial practices. Regardless of whether his brother was the Builder (and few "construction workers" qualify as Builders), he should have requested and received, up front, a detailed estimate of the cost and labor involved... necessary for his own legal accounting requirements, taxes - IRS audits, etc.
Did this man know his brother? Examining the conversation of others can quickly reveal the God one serves. Do they reflect a godly worldview... the righteousness and love of God as is expressed through the gospel of Jesus Christ; or does their conversation center on the things of this world and this life? Are they peacemakers, or quick to anger? Are they calm and patient, or superior and overbearing? Is goodness rather than evil prevalent in their own lives?
Upon beginning the project of building a home, he should have requested and routinely received from his brother/builder a folder containing all the paid-in-full receipts for the building materials as purchased, subcontractors, etc., as they were incurred, rendering it impossible for him to have become the duped victim of the described fraud, and preventing his brother from ever being presented with the temptation.
Assuming the "blessed wealthy man" was a Christian, the lifestyles of those who are in Christ should reveal the nature of Christ. Jesus always went about giving to the poor. He never emphasized storing up wealth, but, rather gave away things He could have used on Himself. He should be our example today. Men of God live temperate, moderate lives revealing the nature of Christ because the intemperate pursuit and lust for the things of this world never portray the Spirit of Christ, nor is such behavior ever praised or even excused in the New Testament, whether the person be poor or wealthy.
Jesus came to set us free, not to bring us under the bondage of deceitful men (including relatives). Test whether their fruit is good fruit. In essence, are they living for themselves, or a crucified life for others, one that glorifies God - as Jesus did.
The Bible tells us to “prove all things; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
Examining the lives of others (yes, even a brother) by this standard, expect not total perfection. Many men and women called of God have overcome in many areas, but are, and will always be, still a work in progress, as they walk with the Lord. We are responsible before God to seek Him for guidance in the area of not becoming deceived by men, just as we restrain ourselves from becoming stumbling blocks to them. If we sincerely seek discernment to know the truth and will respond accordingly once that truth is revealed, the Lord will make it known to us.
Proverbs 20:11 says, “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.”
If we fail to handle our interactions with others correctly, it can cause more harm than good. This is especially true in how we relate to other adults in business dealings. The world, then as now, was hostile to believers - not incidentally
hostile, but purposefully
hostile. Wolves are intentional about the harm they inflict upon sheep. In such an environment, the question is then: “How can we advance the kingdom of God effectively without becoming predatory ourselves?”
Jesus taught His followers that, to be Christlike in a godless world, they must combine the wisdom of the serpent with the harmlessness of the dove.“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore as shrewd as serpents, and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
As to the ending premise that "God sees to that." Not during this lifetime, to the contrary, we alone are responsible. He gave His best! ...and we have until the last day of our earthly lives to come to our senses and accept His gift of eternal salvation.
Isaiah 43:25 “I am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins."
Romans 8:34 "Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us."
John 8:11 "She said, 'No one, Lord.' And Jesus said, 'Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.'”-
"A rich man whom God had blessed had a poor brother who was a construction worker. The rich brother said to his poor brother, “I want you to build me a house, and I want you to make it the finest that money can buy—spacious, large, and beautiful.” The poor brother was delighted, so he started to build the house that his rich brother had requested. But he said to himself, “This is a chance for me to make money.” So he took out of the foundation the good material that should have gone into it and he put in a cheap foundation, and put the money saved into his own pocket. Instead of placing fine lumber in the building, he used cheaper lumber and pocketed the difference. Instead of installing superior plumbing in the house, he chose cheaper plumbing. Throughout the house he used cheaper materials to deceive his own brother.
When the house was finished, his rich brother came to him and said, “Let us go see the beautiful house.” They stood and looked at it, and the rich brother said to his poor brother, “Brother, it is yours. This is a gift of my heart to you.”
That is as true a parable of life as I know. The man who cheats, deceives, and lies destroys himself. God sees to that."
"A rich man whom God had blessed had a poor b... (show quote