Saturday, 30 May 2020 JAMES 5: 1-20
“ ...The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you.” -James 5:4
Here Apostle James is making an effort to console and strengthen the poor and the oppressed Christians. In order to do this, he declared his views in regard to those rich men who were exploiting the poor. We should note here that it is the worthlessness of riches that is highlighted and not the worthlessness of the rich. All the wealth of this world will be worthless when Christ returns and establish His kingdom on earth. So we should strive to earn those treasures that will be valuable in God’s eternal kingdom.
Money is not harmful, but the love of money is dangerous. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” We need money for our personal needs, to support our families, ministry, missions, etc. but to let it run and ruin our lives, is something to be avoided. If money becomes your master, it will be the cause of much pain and evil in your life. The believer’s security is in God who promised to be his/her Provider- Jehovah Jireh! Hebrews 13: 5 says: ‘Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”’
But how do we keep away from the clutches of greed? Apostle Paul gives a few guide lines in his letter to Timothy:
Realize that a day will come when riches have no value.
Practice to love people more than you love money
Love doing God’s work more than your passion to pile up wealth.
Freely share what you have with the needy for the glory of God.
Learn to be content with what you have.
Jesus stated in the Parable of the Rich Fool: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12: 15) There is a prayer in Proverbs 30:8-9 says: “ ...Give me neither poverty nor riches but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of God. ” With having sufficient to meet one’s needs and a surplus to share for the needy brethren and for the extension of God’s Kingdom, one can be satisfied in this life.
God’s judgment will come on those who exploit the poor. In our present-day, make every effort not to exploit the employees working for you. The cry of the oppressed is always heard by God and in His time He will come to vindicate the oppressed and punish the oppressor. The oppression we face need not be in the physical sense alone. Verbal oppression is gaining momentum nowadays-exchange of harming / insulting/mocking/cursing words- Remember the Deliverer of the oppressed, listens!
As the farmers wait patiently for their crops to grow (James 5:7), in the same way, we must wait patiently for Christ’s return. Farmers have to put in a lot of hard work for a good harvest. Similarly, let us put in our best in the gospel work for a good harvest of souls when the Lord Jesus returns.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to live in such a way
that I help others rather than oppress them through
my words or actions. Amen