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Corruption and Oppression

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 (James 4:4).

Oftentimes in our world today, people with money mistreat those who don’t have as much money. It’s really a sad reality. But it happens all the time. As we have already seen, money and corrupt us with pride. We can be tempted to think that we are better than someone else because of our wealth. This is pure sin that James and rest of the Bible speak quite often about.

One of the things that the Bible consistently speaks about is that God is on the side of those who are oppressed. And if God is on the side of the oppressed you don’t want to be on the opposite side as the oppressor.

James is warning his audience, which consists of many rich people, that if they continue to oppress others by cheating them and withholding what it right from them, God will judge them and it will not be comfortable in the least.

God knows what it is like to be oppressed. He subjected himself to oppression by the Romans and the Pharisees for the sake of our blessing. He was oppressed for us so that we don’t have to be eternally oppressed. In light of this, if there is a rich person who says they are a Christian and continues to abuse people with their wealth, doesn’t that make it seem like they don’t understand how much oppression God has spared from them? This is why James has such strong words for those who are in his church and oppress others.

Read Psalm 72:4

• When you hear this verse, would you rather be the poor or the oppressor?

• Why does God have a special care for the poor?

• If we are called to love what God loves, what implications should that have for how we treat

poor people?


Our Father, thank you for rescuing us from the eternal oppression of your wrath. We recognize that what we deserved was death, but you have saved us by your grace. May we never abuse those who have less than us, but may we be quick to shower this same kind of grace upon them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.