James # 12 James 5-1 thru 5-7
We've been teaching on the book of James for the last several weeks. If you were to give a title on the book of James you have to call it the maturing of the saints. So let's pick up were left off last time. Last time we ended with the last verse of James chapter 4 so let's begin in James chapter 5.
I) James 5:1.
A) James begins with the same phrase he used that in (verse 13) "Go to now."
1) As we said last time that phrase is the colloquialism, something that is only understood by the people of that time or place.
a) In modern day English James is saying, "Come on now," or "Now listen."
B) If you were to read verse 1 by itself it would sound like James is saying that money is a curse, especially to those who are rich.
1) But if you remember from last week James was talking about a man who makes his own plans on what he is going to do, where he is going to go, and how long he is going to stay there in order to make money.
a) There's nothing wrong with making money, but the problem with this man is that he was putting his plans before God's plans. He was putting his kingdom before God kingdom.
(i) We should always take time to seek the Lord's direction 1st.
2) That's what James is talking about in chapter 5 verse 1.
a) He says to the rich man who does not put God 1st that his riches are going to bring him misery.
C) Let's go on with James 5:2-3.
1) Those that seek after riches and prosper according to the world standards without putting God 1st will be consumed with more and more greed.
a) As James puts it here, "Their money will eat their flesh as it were fire."
b) There consumed with greed and again putting money 1st in their lives.
D) Let's go on with James 5:4-5.
1) Let me read it to you from the NIV translation. It says, "Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen 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."
a) It is not well itself that is condemned, but greedy attitude toward it and the wrong actions taken to obtain it.
2) God is not deaf to cries of injustice.
3) James apparently writing to the Jews or at least those who were very familiar with the Jewish customs and sacrifices knew exactly what James is talking about here.
a) According to (Leviticus 19:13) and (Deuteronomy 24:15) it is sin to unjustly hold back wages from another.
E) In (verse 5) James says because they have held back wages from others they live in luxury and wanton or self-indulgence.
1) But the next phrase is a little blind to us.
2) He says, "Ye have nourished your hearts, as in the day on slaughter."
a) A literal translation to that would be, "You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter."
b) The Jews knew is being said here, but to us it's not very clear, so let me try to explain his meaning.
3) Before the Jews would bring an animal sacrifice they would have to fatten it up 1st.
a) They had to offer the best to God. They couldn't give him just some old skinny sheep that was about to die anyway. They had to give the fattened sheep or oxen, the best.
b) So what James is saying to the rich who have received their money apart from God and continue to put their money 1st that they have been fattened like this sheep and ready to meet their fate.
F) Let's go on reading with James 5:6.
1) The word "CONDEMNED" in this verse refers to "A GUILTY VERDICT IN A COURT JUSTICE."
a) In a scramble for more wealth, the rich have used their influence in a court of justice.
b) In doing so they were guilty of condemnation and even death to innocent man.
c) What began as an interest in money ended as an in sensitivity to murder.
2) The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil.
a) Those that seek after money need to be careful that God is always 1st in our lives.
b) You don't have to have a lot of money to be consumed with the lust for money.
c) No matter who we are we need to put God 1st.
d) Remember that the money we get or even the wealth we obtain, all belong to God.
(i) We need to be good stewards of God's money and use it according to his purpose.
3) We need godly wisdom when dealing with money.
a) (James 1:5) says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering."
II) Let's go want to James 5:7.
A) James now begins to talk to those who have been wrong or cheated.
1) 1st of all he tells them to be patient.
a) The word "PATIENT" comes from a compound Word meeting "LONG TEMPER."
b) The meeting here is "Don't have a short temper but have a long temper to someone who wrongs you."
2) He then tells us how to do that, "Look to the coming of the Lord."
a) Those that have treated you unjustly will receive their just reward. And if you've been wrong the Lord will repay you.