J AMES Key Verse: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves- James 1:22 (NKJ)
J AMES Review - Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes- 4:14 “We were created for eternity. And if we forget it, we invest in the wrong direction”- Henry Blackaby “People are what their desires are”- Thomas Manton
J AMES How do you feel? James 5:1-6: Encouragement and Warning
J AMES Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you- vs. 1 Who is James talking to? (James 3:1) Believers or not? Is it wrong to be rich?
J AMES Ololyzontes- wail - loud howling in pain and misery Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom- 4:9 Willful repentance vs. howling at the coming judgment
J AMES 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- vs. 2-3
J AMES Wealth - grain, oil, garments, coins Grain rotted, oil turned rancid, clothes were moth-eaten and moldy. Gold and silver were tarnished Judgment- Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire.
J AMES What are the last days? What’s the first charge against the rich?
J AMES Hoarding Why is it wrong? **Bonus Question: Does anyone in America hoard?
J AMES From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked- Luke 12:48
J AMES 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- vs. 4 What’s the second charge? Cheating workers out of their pay
J AMES 90% of people live on small farms Landowners have serfs who are tied to the land and do all the work for day-laborer wages If they don’t get paid, they don’t eat “You didn’t do it right, I’m not gonna pay you today!”
He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the LORD- Jeremiah 22:16 He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done- Proverbs 19:17 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress- James 1:27
J AMES God will always avenge those who oppress the poor and needy
J AMES You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter- vs. 5 Third charge? Living in luxury and self-indulgence
lifestyle that leads to weakened morals Luxury - lifestyle that leads to weakened morals extravagant and wasteful living Self-indulgence - extravagant and wasteful living giving the heart whatever it desires, regardless of the costs or the needs of others Fattened yourselves- lit. “hearts”- giving the heart whatever it desires, regardless of the costs or the needs of others
Marquis de Lafayette- French general/friend of George Washington. 1782 :"The bad harvest has raised the price of wheat. This is the time to sell”- Layfette’s manager "No, this is the time to give“- Layfette
J AMES You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you- vs. 6 What’s the fourth charge? Murder
J AMES dikaion- righteous/ believers Innocent- dikaion- righteous/ believers defenseless or refused to fight back unrighteously Not opposing - defenseless or refused to fight back unrighteously
J AMES Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…- James 1:2
Encouragement - God will take care of justice in the end Nero, 66 A.D., putting down the Jewish revolt, began by slaughtering the rich Jewish landowners (James was written around 60 A.D.) Warning - I don’t have to be rich according to American standards to have the same attitudes and actions
Is it wrong to be rich? Consider the Source Did it come from righteous business dealings? Consider the Attitude Is it mine to use so that I can live in luxury and self-indulgence? Consider the Responsibility What does God expect me to do with it?
Takeaways: From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked- Luke 12:48 Is there anything I deny myself so that I may help others? Am I harboring bitterness towards those who’ve done me wrong? Or do I trust that God will take care of it in the end? If God were standing here today, what would he say about how I’ve handled what I’ve been given?