When dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield finds himself surrounded by gold in the Lonely Mountain he begins to go a little crazy. He is desperate to find the Arkenstone but the quest amongst so much gold is corrupting him. When others gather at the mountain Thorin forces his friends to build barricades to keep them out. He wants the gold and the Arkenstone for himself. He is not the first to be driven a little nuts by too much of a good thing.
Jesus once told a story about a man who had been blessed with so much goodness he couldn’t store it all. But instead of sharing any of it he hoarded it until it not only drove him mad, it killed him. This wasn’t an original story, Jesus knew his Old Testament and drew on the tale of Nabal and David in 1 Samuel chapter 25. David, the man who would be king, was on the run at that point and needed food. But the rich Nabal wouldn’t share what he had. Ultimately Nabal died partying.
When David’s son Solomon was offered anything he wanted he refused riches and instead chose wisdom, yet as he grew older he also acquired a lot of women, and in the end his lust brought him crashing down. His thousand lovers compromised him and he lost the plot. He was probably quite worn out too! The stories of Thorin, Nabal and Solomon are familiar to us all, we any of us can go a little nuts sometimes, driven by all kinds of ambitions and longings. When a tree-climbing taxman spotted Jesus he did a lifestyle u-turn, when a rich young man met Jesus he found the challenge to change too difficult. (Luke 18 & 19) I guess on any given day I can find myself somewhere between those two stories. As for Thorin, well, you’ll have to watch The Hobbit to see what becomes of him.