James – Thursday, April 2
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.
James had no doubt heard his half-brother (Jesus) teach many times on the subject of riches and those that had them. Now James is condemning the rich—not because they are rich, but for the way they lived with their riches. It’s not a sin to be wealthy, but it is a sin to trust in riches (Mark 10:23-24; 1 Timothy 6:17), to love money (1 Timothy 6:10), or to be tightfisted (contrast 1 Timothy 6:18).
They had hoarded wealth (they were not generous with what God gave them). They had failed to pay those who had worked for them, or had paid them very poorly. They lived opulent lifestyles. They had destroyed people’s lives, obviously for the purpose of increasing their own wealth.
Their judgment is predicted here. God is keeping track of such sins, and unless there is repentance and trust in Christ unto the new birth, they will answer fully to Him for all they’ve done.
Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions
1. What is your view of riches? What are your personal desires concerning money? What should your desires be? To help you with your answer, read Proverbs 30:7-9 and 1 Timothy 6:6-9.
2. How are those desires shaping the way you live? Before you answer, read Matthew 6:19-21.
3. Now might be a good time to reassess some of your personal goals. How have they changed as a result of the study of the epistle of James?
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