“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.”
---End of Scripture verses---
It is not impossible to be rich and righteous at the same time, but it is hard. Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter God’s kingdom (Matthew 19:24), but every good thing is possible with God (Matthew 19:26). People who “want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9). There are considerable challenges that deter a rich person from storing his treasures up in heaven, so if we are blessed with earthly wealth, let’s make certain that we are “rich toward God” (Luke 12:21).
James is not condemning affluent people per se, but the unscrupulously rich who abuse their wealth and power. Those who have the means to promptly and fully pay what they owe, and yet refuse to do so, have much to “weep and howl” over (verse 1). The “miseries which are coming” on the Judgment Day will be a brutal reality for them when “the Lord of Sabaoth” (Hosts) exacts justice and vengeance upon the oppressors of the helpless and vulnerable. People who live in lavish luxury and “wanton pleasure” and express no practical compassion for the needy and downtrodden are only fattening their own “hearts” for the “day of slaughter” that is to come (verse 5).
“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Please read James 5:7-11 for tomorrow.
Have a great day!
- Louie Taylor