Summary: Last Days
LASTING VALUES ON THE LAST DAYS (JAMES 5)
Feelings of economic gloom run deeper
The Standard, 3 Jan 2019
Many more people believe the economy this year will be worse than in 2018, says a gloomy New Year poll. Government and analysts have also been voicing such fears as the Sino-American trade war continues. The survey interviewed 567 people aged 18 and above from November 30 to December 8, and found that 34.4 percent believed 2019 would be economically worse than last year. This compared with 20.5 percent a year ago who believed 2018 would be worse than 2017.
Only 20.4 percent expect 2019 will be better than 2018, and 23.7 percent see the situation unchanged from 2018. A similar survey last year saw 36 percent expecting a better year 2018 compared with 2017, and 29.1 percent predicted no difference.
The book of James begin chapter 1 with admonition for readers to be heartened in testing; chapter 2 to be helpful to others; chapter 3 to be honorable as teachers; chapter4 to be humble in prosperity; and now chapter 5 to be hopeful in future.
Words like the last days, the coming of the Lord (most in chapter than any Bible chapters) and few chapters in the Bible have more than eight times the title “Lord” in one chapter as in chapter 5, which James intentionally used for its climax. The coming of the Lord is also known as the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Mal 4:5), the coming of the Son of man (Matt 24:27), the coming of the Just One (Acts 7:52), the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:7), the coming of the Lord (1 Thess 4:15) or the coming of the day of God (2 Peter 3:12). It will be a public (2 Thess 2:8), powerful (2 Peter 1:16) and penitent day (1 John 2:28),
What is the future like? What would you expect How would you expect God to treat the rich and the poor?
Profit with Precaution: Abiding Assurance
1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 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. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.
This is the second “listen/go” (v 1) imperative in the book and the whole New Testament after its debut in James 4:13, both with negative connotations. The imperative is “weep” (v 1) and not “wail/howl.” The verb occurs 40 times in the New Testament, but only six times in the imperative, and all mostly imperatives commanding people not to weep (Luke 7:13, 8:52, 23:28 twice, James 4:9, Rev. 5:5) rather than weep. It is a loud expression of grief (Vine’s). It is a loud expression of grief (Vine’s). It could mean public, painful and passionate anguish and agony for the oncoming misery (plural in Greek), or wretchedness (Rom 3:16) and calamity. The verb “coming” (v 1) is in the present tense, not the future.
V 2 Rotted/
V 2 Eaten/ motheaten. V 3 Corrosion/ cankered V 3 Testify/
be a witness V 3 Eat V 3 Hoarded/heaped treasure
Decomposed Denounced Debilitated Demised
Money can lose its luster and leverage in many ways. They can be defaced, decolored, devalued (like Japanese money after the second world war), depreciated, downgraded (like gold), dissolved, defrauded and dispossessed (like my big aunt to stocks), besides deflated and decomposition.
In Canada the government announced in February 2018 that the $1,000, $500, $25, $2 and $1 bills will no longer be legal tender.
The most common causes of mutilated currency are: fire, water, chemicals, and explosives; animal, insect, or rodent damage; and petrification or deterioration by burying. Go figure. The average lifetime of paper currency ranges from 4.5 years for $10 bills to 15 years for $100 bills, according to the Federal Reserve. A paper note isn’t actually made of paper; it’s 75% cotton and 25% linen and can withstand about 4,000 double folds before it tears.
The verb “cry out” (v 4) is not crying with emotion but with energy, exclamation and exasperation, as when the devils did meeting Jesus (Matt 8:28-29), when the blind men called out to Jesus (Matt 9:27, 20:30) and when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea (Matt 14:26), or when the Canaanite woman cried for Jesus’ attention (Matt 15:22).