That poor day laborer has been ripped off by the man who promised to pay him but lied to his face. Be thankful for the grace of God that has saved you, and then pray that grace may reach all the way to your pocketbook. The Bible does not uphold poverty as the pathway to righteousness, nor should we. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Scripture delivers many warnings to the wealthy. And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Warning to the Rich - Come now, you rich! When we stand before the Lord, we’ll have to answer for how we spent our time and how we spent our money. James 1:10-11. and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. My enemy is the man in the mirror who worries too much about his bank account. No wonder Jesus said to the rich young ruler, “go and sell that which you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven, and come follow me.” (Matt. When the Gallup organization surveyed world income, they discovered that 22% of the world population lives on less than $1.25 per day and 34% lives on less than $2 per day. Sometimes the real test of your faith is what you don’t do. You may wonder why I am typing things out word for word. Garments are much better on the backs of the destitute than to become food for moths. God is certain. Perhaps you’ve heard of the “other” Golden Rule: “The man with the gold makes the rules.” We’ve all seen how this works. That evening the boss makes another excuse: “My foreman got busy, so we don’t have the money. What I’m saying is, we’re rich. They rationalized their sin by saying, “It’s a dog-eat-dog world. You were rich or you were poor. You can hire lawyers who can work the system to get you off even when you are guilty. I tend to have a problem with reading comprehension.. The average American household has an annual income of around $65,000. “He built a great empire.” The presence of such warning in the New Testament as “charge them that are rich in this world” and “Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl” (1 Tim. 2 Your wealth is ruined and your clothes are moth-eaten. Warnings And Promises. That the original audience of the epistle of James must have developed an infatuation with the wealthy is clear from the many passages that offer warnings to the rich or criticize the church for giving deference to those with great means (1:9–11; 2:1–13; 4:13–17). A four-week series 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, are crying out against you, However, I will push through with the Lord's help. When a rich man dies, we always ask, “How much did he leave?” The answer is always the same: He left it all. James says that this “innocent man” does not resist his accusers. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The cries of the workers reach the ears of the Lord of the Harvest. 5 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 … James 5:1-6 Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come on you.… A nobleman who lived in the neighbourhood of the Rev. Watch Queue Queue When bystanders spat at him, he didn’t spit back. 5 Come now, you rich! This is how business gets done. It was his desire to hoard “all my fruits and my goods” for the purpose of eating, drinking, and being merry, without giving any credit to God or having even one thought for the less fortunate that caused God to say, “You Fool.” The sudden ending of his life, with the question-” Whose shall those things be?”-shows the folly of selfish, godless plans. Money isn’t good or evil. You needn’t feel guilty about having money or being blessed beyond what you deserve. When you stand before the Lord, your money will be a witness for or against you. who mowed your fields, The Bible says if your riches increase, don’t set your heart upon them. All such need to learn that experience and the Scriptures clearly reveal “the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. “Living in pleasure on earth” “nourishing your hearts,” “eating, drinking, and making merry” “are expressions which depict a life that has no trust in God. How you spend your money is a gospel issue. You can use for leading a small group Bible study. We think about the super-rich found on the Forbes Billionaire List, people like Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. There is a cause and effect in this third warning. Billy Graham remarked that he had never seen a Brinks truck following a hearse. the righteous person. and their corrosion will be evidence against you If you have gained according to God’s laws, neglect not the poor, especially those who are of the household of faith (Gal 6:10). “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Jesus was actually telling people to be “rich in good works”-to use this world’s goods in such a way that shows love for God and man-laying up treasures in heaven, when he said “make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when you fall, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.” (Lk 16:9.). Yes, God made rich certain men in the scripture (e.g. 2 Your riches have rotted 1-3). In this case, the rich men James is talking about had fattened themselves at the expense of their workers. It’s a form of judicial murder, and it happens all the time. You have fattened your hearts Your gold and silver has corroded. When I write it out I am able to process it better in my mind.. and since I lose papers and notebooks so easily, what better place is the If God Allowed His Only Son To Be Crucified, How Much Worse Punishment. He uses our money to make us think the measure of a man is his bottom line. weep and howl for the miseries Open your bibles to James 5:1-4. Warnings to the Rich. The poor man doesn’t resist because he can’t resist. Bible verses about Being Rich. You have laid up treasure in the last days. 4:28). Bible study reference: James 5:1-6. It means to pass a guilty verdict in a very personal way. . Look what James says about each of those indicators: Your crops have rotted. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. Naked we came into the world. In some deep sense, all of life is about money and time, and there really isn’t a third category. that are coming upon you. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fireYou have stored up treasure in the last days. ; As we have seen, the Old Testament speaks to this constantly. From these Scriptures we can behold some of the “pits,” “snares,” and “lusts” connected with riches “which drown men in destruction and perdition.” How wholesome, therefore, are those things which protect us from such disaster. You can buy your own plane to take you wherever you need to go. It’s a really good question from an anonymous woman. You end up dead, toys or no toys. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. James 5:1-4 ESV - Warning to the Rich - Come now, you - Bible Gateway Warning to the Rich - Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. and your garments are moth-eaten. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 ESV / 15 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful. The Bible says so very much about the deceptive nature of riches. If you live in the United States, you should be glad because you’re in the upper 1% of world income. Your garments are moth-eaten. If you have enough money, you can gain entrance to the highest levels of society. You can easily find cross-references with online tools like biblestudytools.com and sometimes even in the back of your Bible. You could grow crops, or you could sell fabric, or you could store up gold and silver. Facebook; Twitter; Surely you’ve heard some variation on this theme: It’s not what you do, it’s whose you are. Thanks for your interest! Here’s the message in one sentence: The man who cheats the poor will be dealt with by a God who is big enough to do something about it. But let’s do the math another way. A Warning to the Rich. He is unchangeable, eternal, and His promises are sure. Since we are wealthy compared to most people in the world, these words are for us. When he tries to win in court, the judge not only rules against him, he sends the poor man to prison, bankrupting him in the process. It does, however, provide ample evidence to enable us to draw the conclusion that both will exist under the rule of the Antichrist in the last days. The presence of such warning in the New Testament as “charge them that are rich in this world” and “Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl” (1 Tim. He is helpless against the rich who mistreat him. “They used their money to help others.”. Notice, the rich are told not to trust in “uncertain” riches. and the cries of the harvesters have In this passage James has a large number of warnings for those who are rich. Their greed blinded them to the needs of others. This obviously varies greatly by region and by population group, but we can use it as a starting point. “She always dressed in the latest fashions.” James' Stern Warning. We all end up dead eventually, and the grave for the rich looks exactly like the grave for the poor. This time he specifically addresses those who make plans and use their wealth without God in the picture. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. Naked we will leave. It offers no hope, but simply announces judgment from God. Wicked men plotted against him and suborned perjury against him. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Just as money itself is morally neutral, having money is not intrinsically good or evil. and will eat your flesh like fire. May we who are rich in this world’s goods be as generous to others as God has been generous to us. Car. When he confronts the owner, the rich man laughs and says, “Don’t mess with me or you’ll never get your money.” So the worker goes home to his family with nothing to show for a week of hard work. How many rich men today get rich by keeping the wages of those work for them very low? Money buys us influence, it opens doors, it allows us to have houses and cars and boats and planes and nice clothes and fancy jewelry. Satan uses money to get us hooked into greed and self-indulgence. It’s what we do with money that matters. May the Lord deliver us from greed that destroys every good intention and blinds us to the hurting world around us. From a positive standpoint, Timothy was to charge the rich to “Trust in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy . We all deserve hell, and apart from Jesus, that’s where we will all end up. An Italian proverb reminds us that “the last robe has no pockets.”. “She invested in the Great Commission.” Faith That Works – Warning to the Rich: James 5:1-6 . You don’t have to fly economy, and you don’t have to fly first class. He sees what the rich man does, and he knows how he uses his wealth to crush the poor. Money is the currency of life. Build treasures in heaven and not treasures upon this earth, for where your treasure is there will your heart be also (Mt 6:19-21). Let me go back to the example I gave earlier. It couldn’t be clearer. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. What will your money say about you? Money is life, and life is money. These words are so harsh that we instinctively assume he must be talking about someone else. The term “middle class” is a recent phenomenon. We all know how this story ends. Note one other fact. It is a scathing indictment of the rich. We can say this another way. Share. They twisted his words, they stirred up the crowd, and they backed Pilate into a corner so he would send Jesus to be crucified. The question is not, should we make money? “Pastor John, whenever I read in James 5, the chapter about the wailing and misery awaiting the rich of this world, I am filled with fear for the judgment day. Whereas James has given us many practical examples of how to live out our faith, he now gives a stern warning in a different type of language. This text reminds us that the problem is not in the money. Here is the great difference in the objects of trust. Well, yes, James is certainly thinking about the richest of the rich. All of life is on loan from God. He sees what the rich man does, and he knows how he uses his wealth to crush the poor. Come back and work for me tomorrow.” Same thing happens on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Berean Study Bible Oppressing the poor to enrich oneself or giving gifts to the rich will surely lead to poverty. 5:1) suggests there are dangers connected with being rich in this world. 5 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. That brings us to our text: James 5:1-6. in a day of slaughter” (v. 5). That puts you in the upper 4%. Home, 4:18). King James Bible He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want. The rich have all the advantages. It is often said that James (who was the half-brother of the Lord Jesus) never mentions the crucifixion. 5 Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. ( Log Out / from the James reading plan Open Your Bible. . He had the ability of helping Lazarus with his sores and satisfying his gnawing pangs of hunger, but he did not exercise his privilege. Bible > Sermons > James 5:1-6. After all, if you’ve got enough money, you can create your own “heaven on earth.” It’s not real, and it won’t last, but money has tremendous power to feed our delusions. We must not think this couldn’t happen to us. The rich man (Luke 16:19-31), clothed in purple and fine linen and faring sumptuously every day. Truly, as it hath been said, our wealth is like our shoes; if too small, they will gall and pinch us, but if too large, they will cause us to stumble and to trip. James 5 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Warning to the Rich 5 Come now, you rich people! They are not “good” or “evil.” They are just twenty-dollar bills. If you follow Jesus, this will happen to you too. The rich can pay off the judge to make sure they get the verdict they want. Warning to the Rich. Now the man is desperate because he’s got a family to feed. We may not feel rich (we probably don’t), and as we approach tax time in the US, we may feel pinched and squeezed and frustrated. But are those warnings also directed at middle-class Americans? WARNING TO THE RICH. But it also includes people like you and me, which feels odd because most people I know don’t think of themselves as rich. We’ll discuss how we can thrive in the midst of trials, the importance of how we speak about others and how we should treat the poor. In this case, the rich used the legal system to destroy the poor. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. ( Log Out / Righteousness doesn’t depend on the size of your bank account. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. There is no call to repentance. You can find out how you compare with the rest of the world by consulting the Global Rich List. We need to hear this because we live in a world that values money above everything else. While that statement sounds uber-spiritual, does have a hint of truth to it, and would look great emblazoned on a fairtrade t-shirt, … James 5 New Living Translation (NLT) Warning to the Rich. The owner makes a promise and then changes his mind. Another Proverb warns us not to hasten to be rich. “Come now, you rich, Ill gotten gains at the expense of the poor will bring damnation to your soul (Jer 17:11). One day we will give back everything to the Lord, even the life he gave us in the beginning. The motives for making money assigned in the scriptures are to supply our own needs, those who are dependent upon us, and “that we may have to give to him that have not.” (1 Tim. Rich people can hire a PR firm to manipulate the news in their favor. Inductive Bible of Jesus' parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:16-21. But he may be thinking of Jesus when he writes about “the innocent man” in verse 6. He uses our money to turn us away from generosity toward the poor. They can plant articles to make themselves look good. By Bob Cowles • 20 Jan, 2018 • James 5.1-6 . They would probably say they are in the middle class. In ancient Israel, you had very rich people at the top of the ladder, and a whole lot of poor people at the bottom, and not very many in-between. (1) Please understand that the term “rich” doesn’t mean that if don’t have an abundance of money and material things then these warnings are not for us. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep" (Luke 6:24-25). The New Testament is equally concerned about the dangers of wealth. The system is rigged against him. We all need money to survive. Money makes us think we’re safe. Wealth can make us cruel. In the first century, there were three main indicators of wealth. in luxury and in self-indulgence. . In the first century, many farm workers were essentially day laborers. If you make $60,000 a year, you are in the upper .2% of everyone in the world. In the end we come back to a familiar theme. If you’ve got food in your pantry and clean water to drink, you’re doing better than millions of people around the world. The very wealth you were counting on … Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Abraham, Solomon, Job) but not one of them sought to be rich. It should be clear from what I have written that I feel the pinch of this text. Let’s go down to $10,000 a year. Though he had done no wrong, he was sentenced to death. As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. Now James asks us to consider an evil abuse of power. Knowing all this, James issues a stern warning. That’s the real test of your faith. “You have lived on the earth Money buys influence, power, and protection from prosecution. 3 Your gold and silver have rusted and their rust will be a witness against you. 1 Timothy 6:17 "Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy" (1 Tim 6:17) What comes to mind when you think of rich people? 5 Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. This is an area of my life that I struggle with the most. In the Bible, the rich are often the objects of divine scorn and condemnation. Suppose I hold up five twenty-dollar bills in my hand. His failure shows that he was “high-minded” and had no trust in the living God, the source of his “good things.” No wonder he cries on the other side of death, “I am tormented in this flame!”, The rich men who are told to “weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you” (Jam 5:1-6) were men who had gained, hoarded, and lived delicately at the expense of the poor laborers. Their miseries were sure to come because their silver and gold was rusted, their garments moth-eaten, and many just ones had been made to suffer by their fraud and lack of mercy. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. 5) can look no where else. "Equipping and encouraging people to keep believing in Jesus", Copyright © 2020 Keep Believing Ministries. Let go of the things you own. “They lived like royalty.”, “He cared about the poor.” Unfortunately for those who think like that, a day of slaughter is coming, and God will start with the rich pigs. I saw an internet meme showing a mansion next to a hovel. Solomon wrote that we labor not to be rich (Prov 23:4). They can turn the truth upside down so the poor man has no chance. The heart of the problem is always the problem of the heart. They can hire the best lawyers who know how to craft the most powerful arguments. Material riches are never certain. How can we as believers live in such a way that the ethics and lifestyle of the kingdom pervade our lives? 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. “Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all,” notes Proverbs 22:2. It will consume your flesh like fire. 6:17 f; Jam. If you’ve got money, you can get out of trouble. In a real sense, money is like bait on a hook. Those bills are just black and green ink on paper. Answer: The Bible does not use the phrase “one-world government” or “one-world currency” in referring to the end times. We can’t squirm out from under the biting impact of what James writes. Let’s review the four warnings in our text: Wealth can make us arrogant. How often they want to limit how much health care they can obtain. Mark 10:17-27 is the […] Only some representative examples can be given. That poor man is as good as dead. 5:4,8 f; Eph. There are lots of warning verses. Abraham, Solomon, Job) but not one of them sought to be rich. The widow who is “desolate” and “trusts in the Lord” (1 Tim. When they swore at him, he didn’t swear back. Let’s suppose a certain worker arrives on Monday and works all day. A finely dressed man? 2. Without it, you are in big trouble. Change ). The Bible talks about money a lot. The question is not, “Do we have money?” but rather “What is our money doing to us?”. But what can he do? Money makes us think we can get away with anything. For one thing, “rich” is a relative term. But Jesus had all the power in the world, yet he chose not to use it. "But woe to you that are rich, for you have already received your comfort. This is what I meant earlier when I mentioned “the one who has the gold makes the rules.” Money buys influence, power, and protection from prosecution. They have no moral value. Wealth can make us ruthless. Cell phone, Because the rich have lived in luxury, they have fattened their hearts in a day of slaughter. In the broadest sense, you can find something about money (or the things money can buy) on almost every page of the Bible. I could use the money to buy a hungry man a meal, or I could use the money to buy illegal drugs. Everything you have is a gift from God. This image may be the … Jesus of course had much to say on the subject. That’s true in the literal sense. The cries of the workers reach the ears of … When you die, someone else will get your house, your car, your office, and your money. Hold lightly what you value greatly. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Man is prone to look upon that which is seen — that which is tangible, and therefore place his trust in these things instead of the unseen, eternal God. Suppose we drop the figure down to $20,000 a year. Ye have heaped treasure together … Continue reading Warning to the Rich This sort of thing happens all the time, with the details slightly changed. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. It will be admitted that riches will provide many comforts and exempt people from many of the problems that confront the poor; but people greatly err when they allow material things to supplant God in their lives. It is hard for a man to pray as fervently “give us this day our daily bread” when he has millions in the bank. 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