Jun 18, 2011

James 5:4-6

Yesterday, we have taken a look at verses of chapter 5: 1-3 of the book of James teaching us about the consequences of lusting after worldly riches.Today we shall focus on the continuing verses 4-6.

[But] look! [Here are] the wages that you have withheld by fraud from the laborers who have reaped your fields, crying out [for vengeance]; and the cries of the harvesters have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts.
[Here] on earth you have abandoned yourselves to soft (prodigal) living and to [the pleasures of] self-indulgence and self-gratification. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
You have condemned and have murdered the righteous (innocent man). [while] he offers no resistance to you.
                    - James 5:4-6(Amplified Bible)

Here James speaks of the evils of going after worldly pleasures. Anything and everything in this life is sure to affect us. But it very much depends on the choice we make - whether we choose to go on the right path or the wrong. And going after money is surely treading on dangerous waters. Why? Here in James 5:4, the Lord clearly shows us what the nature of the people changes to when they crave riches - they, in the greed of wanting more money, not only pile up their own wealth but also hold back the wages and salaries of those who have earnestly worked for them. How many people do you know that do this? When we enter the commerical street, we get to see many examples as
such- Selling things at faulty prices is an example of greediness, bargaining at extreme profits to scour the shopkeeper of his monthly wages is also this very behaviour. On both sides, it is wrong behaviour. It seems like people go to the market not to buy/sell food and clothing, but to cheat, grab and steal!

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
                                           - 1 Tim 6:10 (NKJV)

In verse 6, we see that greed leads to wickedness where we tend to only not grab, fool and cheat others but also condemn those that are righteous and murder them. 'I didn't kill anyone, I am fine', you may say. But being harsh, abusive and becoming an obstacle to those that are righteous is itself discouraging and thus you are committing murder (of heart). Thus money-mindedness prepares the way to other sins, hardening (fattening) our hearts to discernment,admonishment and reproof. In verse 4 & 5, it is the Lord who exposes our sinful nature, clearly noting that nothing escapes His eyes. He is watching everything.
Exodus 3:7 says that the Lord has seen the affliction and understands the sorrows and sufferings and trials of His people under the hands of the taskmasters in Egypt. And He delivered them out of Egypt, ravaging and stripping Egypt of its former glory, casting disease and horrible disasters upon the land.

But where do such behaviours arise from? Can you blame the devil? Or others around you? or your circumstances? The devil surely tempts us even through those who are around us, circumstances test us, but it is from within our heart do all such behaviours arise.

For from within, [that is] out of a man is what makes a man unclean and renders [him] unhallowed.
Coveting(a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit;unrestrained (indecent) conduct;an evil eye(envy), slander(evil speaking,malicious representation, abusiveness), pride(the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness).
All these evil [purposes and desires] come from within, and they make the man unclean and render him unhallowed.
                                               - Mark 7: 21,22 (Amplified Bible)

Don't be discouraged, my friend. Be encouraged and have hope. Because when we repent and obey the Lord, He is sure to forgive us. We must receive His forgiveness and learn from our past mistakes.
If you are an authority at your workplace or home, then you should take the example of leaders like Joshua, Nehemiah, Jesus. They were kind and always blessed those that were under them. Do not go after money, but instead seek Jesus Christ ( lest you fall under temptation and thus sin).

Tomorrow we shall continue with the next verses 7-11.
God bless you.

                                                                 - CMS, Member of J.L.E.S Ministries

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