A Day of Reckoning
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you (James 5:1).
In our devotions for this week are we going to look at a section in the book of James where he speaks some hard words. His audience is a bit hard-hearted so oftentimes hard-hearted people hard words are necessary (think Jesus vs. the Pharisees).
James’ audience for these next few verses in chapter 5 are rich people. Now, of course, not all rich people are bad. Most of those reading this devotional would be considered quite rich by the standards of the rest of world. Did you know that if you simply own a pair of shoes, you are significantly more wealthy than most of the world? We have much to be thankful for.
Sadly, sometimes people who are rich (like us) can get very prideful. We know that James has been speaking quite a bit about pride to his audience and now he turns to speak about how loving money can lead us to think that we are quite self-sufficient. This is pure pride.
The Bible has many warnings about how loving money can corrupt our hearts. That is what James is getting at in our verse for today. He is calling the arrogant rich in his community to repent or else “misery” is going to fall on them swiftly. He speaks these words as a warning.
Those who puff themselves up with pride because of their wealth will find that one day that it will all be gone, and then what? If they placed their trust in money and not Jesus, everything they trusted will be gone and so will Jesus. This is the great sadness that will eventually come for those who trade God for the love of money.
Read 1 Timothy 6:6-10
• What is the “great gain” of these verses?
• How can you stir up contentment for what God has provided?
• How can you fight against the desire to be rich? (Or richer than you already are?)
Our Father, guard us from the destruction that can come from the love of money. May we love you more than money! Help us destroy the idol of money that is constantly tempting us in our culture today. May we see your kingdom as having far more worth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.