Posted by: biblestudyseattle | June 11, 2015

Indulgent Living

“Come now, you rich, cry and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you.  Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten.  Your gold and your silver have rusted, and their rust will be a testimony against you, and will eat your flesh like fire.  You have treasured up wrath for the last days.  Look!, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cries out, and the cries of those who reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of the Armies.  You have lived in luxury on the earth and taken your pleasure.  You have nourished your hearts in a day of slaughter.  You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous person, although he was not opposing you.  Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord.  Look!, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it until it receives the early and latter rain.  You also, be patient.  Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”  James 5:1-8 REV

James and the other apostles evidently thought Jesus’ return was near.  But he also hedged and said to be patient.  Fortunately, the REV includes ‘fraud’ in verse 4, otherwise it might read that all rich people are evil.  James 5 is similar to:

“And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.  He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’  “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”  Luke 12:16-21  Later on, Jesus likely reveals the identity of the rich man:

“Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”  Luke 12:27

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