Summary: 1 of 2. James warned of the danger in self-indulgent gain. Accumulation of wealth is spiritually questionable. But How so? The blunders of self-indulgent gain are in their Accumulated...
Blunders of Self-indulgent Gain-I—James 5:1-8
My kindergarten-aged daughter suddenly announced just before school that she needed to take a clean tee shirt to class. She told us the teacher was going to iron an anti-drug message on it. My wife frantically swept through my daughter’s room, finding nothing usable but one tee shirt that already had something printed on one side.
She sent it off to school with my daughter.
That afternoon, my daughter returned & happily showed off her shirt.
On one side it said, "Families are Forever."
And on the other... "Be Smart, Don’t Start."
By her blunder(careless actions), the mother embarrassed herself & her family.
Likewise, ‘Religious’ people can make tremendous life-altering blunders.
James warned of the danger in self-indulgent gain
Accumulation of wealth is spiritually questionable.
So there are danger in self-indulgent gain.
What are the dangers of self-indulgent gain?
How is self-indulgent gain dangerous?
5 Blunders of self-indulgent gain.
1—A Blunder of self-indulgent gain is...
:1—“Come now, you rich, weep & howl for your miseries that are coming upon you!”
This section (:1-8) is minimally an extension of 4:13-17, where those who do business for profit act without acknowledgment of God’s allowance & provenance in their endeavors.
James attempts to reprove & bring to repentance the rich who have shrewdly brought profit to themselves(:13).
The rich specifically are encouraged to both “weep” & “howl” over their sin. The rich are instructed to do just as the “warring” & “fighting” among the church should, i.e., to “Lament & mourn & weep” over their sin. Such sinfulness, if it remains unsubmitted to Jesus, will absolutely produce “miseries” for the very ones who are trying to reduce those miseries thru human effort—Even thru self-provision.
“Come now/Go to now/Now listen”—age nun— agw—1) To lead, take with one; 3) To pass a day, keep or celebrate a feast, etc.; 4) To go, depart. Strong—properly, To lead; by implication, To bring, drive, (reflexively) Go, (specially) Pass (time), or (figuratively) Induce:-- Be, bring (forth), carry, (let) go, keep, lead away, be open.
“Rich/Rich men/Rich people”—plousiov—Adj.—1) Wealthy, abounding in material resources; 2) metaph. Abounding, abundantly supplied, 2a) Abounding (rich) in Christian virtues & eternal possessions.
“Weep”—klaiw—1) To mourn, weep, lament—1a) Weeping as the sign of pain & grief for the thing signified (i.e. for the pain & grief), 1b) Of those who mourn for the dead; 2) To weep for, mourn for, bewail, one. To weep audibly, cry as a child. Strong—To sob, i.e. Wail aloud (whereas dakruw is rather to cry silently):-- bewail, weep.
“Howl/Wail”—ololuzw—1) To howl, wail, lament—1a) Of a loud cry whether for joy or of grief. Strong—a reduplicated primary verb; To "howl" or "halloo", i.e. Shriek:-- Howl.
“Miseries”—talaipwria—1) Hardship, trouble, calamity, misery. Strong—Wretchedness, i.e. Calamity:-- Misery. Used 2X.
“Coming upon”—epercomai—1) To come to arrive; 2) To come upon, overtake, one. Strong—To supervene, i.e. arrive, occur, impend, attack, (figuratively) influence:-- Come (in, upon).
*Rom. 2:5—“But in accordance with your hardness & your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath & revelation of the righteous judgment of God,”
Lk. 12:15-21—“And He said to them, “Take heed & beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ “So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns & build greater, & there I will store all my crops & my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, & be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, & is not rich toward God.””
Ps. 49:15-20—“But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me. Selah Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, When the glory of his house is increased; For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; His glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lives he blesses himself (For men will praise you when you do well for yourself), He shall go to the generation of his fathers; They shall never see light. A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, Is like the beasts that perish.”
Lk. 6:22-24—“Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, & cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day & leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation.”