Today we begin the fifth and final chapter of James. Including today, we have twenty days left on this Journey in James. For the first six days and verses, James will give a warning to the rich…
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. (James 5:1)
It is very important to study the Bible in its historical context; otherwise we can easily jump to conclusions and miss the point. It may look like James didn’t like rich people, or that it’s a sin to be wealthy, but that is not the case. It helps to understand what the economy was like in his day.
In the Roman Empire at that time, there was no real “Middle Class.” For the most part, you were either filthy rich or filthy poor. The Upper Class took advantage of the Lower Class, and James was saying that this should not be so.
Three things bothered James about the rich people that he knew: how they got their money, what they were doing with their money, and what their money was doing to them. (Please not that I am using the word “money” loosely. Wealth in Bible times often included things like grain, oil, produce, clothing, gold, and silver.)
When you look at verse 1, I don’t think James was angry at the rich; I think he felt sorry for them. He saw that money was not buying them happiness. In fact, their wealth was bringing them new miseries. We also see that in our day, where some very wealthy people are very unhappy. Some celebrities who look like they “have it all” turn to things like alcohol and drugs to try to fight depression, and cover up the emptiness they feel inside.
Today’s Good News is that you don’t need money to “have it all.” In fact, what you need most is something that money cannot buy. You need Jesus! You need His salvation, and it is free to all who will accept it.
Now, go share the Good News…
FAITH in ACTION!
If you are joining us part way through this Journey in James, you can access the devotionals you have missed in the archives. (The series started on June 1.)
If this is your first visit to this website, please read the “Featured Post” from March 1, 2018.