Summary: Sometimes life is tough, but for the believer it will be worth it all!
The Big Pay Off James 5: 1-12
1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.
Caption: (Be Patient and Persevering)
7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! 10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. 12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.
Public troubles are most grievous to those who live in pleasure. All idolized treasures will soon perish; they will rise up in judgment against their possessors. Take heed of defrauding and oppressing; and avoid the very appearance of it. God does not forbid us to use lawful pleasures; but to live in pleasure, especially sinful pleasure, is a provoking sin. The just may be condemned and killed; but when such suffer by oppressors this is marked by God.
Consider him that waits for a crop of corn; and will not you wait for a crown of glory? If you should be called to wait longer than the husbandman, is not there something more worth waiting for? In every sense the coming of the Lord draws near, to short-lived creatures a few years seem an age; but Scripture, measuring all things by the existence of God, reckons thousands of years but so many days. Our eternal happiness is safe if we trust to him!
James gives those who trust in uncertain riches a stern warning, Vs.1 Come now, you rich- weep and howl for your miseries!
In the text it’s important that we understand that ‘riches’ in it self isn’t the problem, but it’s the handling of the riches.
Riches above the love of others, riches above the love of the poor and needy, and Riches above the love of God are idolatry and sin!
James gives instructions unto the person whose priorities are wrong- weep, howl for your miseries!
Now in vs.2-3 James gives this rich man his sin and rebuke. Your riches are corrupted- “Where’s your trust?”