Money, money, money! Isn’t it the answer to everything? We need money to buy what we need. Money is power. At least that’s what many believe. But what does James have to say about money? Let’s take a look…
1 Come now you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. 4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.James 5: 1-6
James is warning the wealthy that there are tough days ahead for them because of the choices they’ve made. Money has made them make decisions that will make their riches disappear.
19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Matthew 6: 19-21
We see a similar message in Matthew about wherever we put our treasure is where our hearts are.
But James goes on to warn us of the oppression that happens because the rich feel empowered to withhold from the poor, the weak. But God hears the cries of the them and he will bring judgment against the rich who think they’re too good. They had the best things that money could buy, lived in the lap of luxury, and became glutinous. God will bring judgment against them in the final days.
We’ll take a look at the solution James suggests next time…