God’s Deaf Ear
Verse 3 details an attempt to ask God for pleasures. The bible clearly states this prayer will not be answered. While James teaches us not to be a pleasure seeker we also get a lesson in prayer: we learn that God does not respond to “Lord, give me a shiny new car so I’ll be happy”. The phone might be ringing but God will not answer. No, God is not deaf, He chooses not to hear for our sakes.
James, verse 4, uses the words adulterers and adulteresses so we are thinking okay now James is going to talk about what we usually associate with the word lust. Well, no, James isn’t describing the physical act of adultery; he is talking about spiritual adultery. When a man cheats on his wife he commits adultery; when we cheat on God we are committing spiritual adultery. Hopefully when we hear of a man committing adultery we are sickened by it, at least we should be. James wants us to see that when a Christian starts seeking their own pleasures and drifts away from God they are guilty of spiritual adultery. We are either friends with the world or we are in fellowship with God. There is no in between.
Example Time – W.C. Fields
He was born William Claude Dukenfield in 1880. W.C. Fields was hugely successful in vaudeville and burlesque. He eventually moved on to films, mostly for Paramount Studios. It is the films that we will most identify with. The characters he played were often drunks, unfortunately, that was no act.
Wildly successful he lived in a beautiful home in LA, and as the world saw it, he had it made. Unfortunately his love of the bottle eventually caused health issues.
Another actor, Anthony Quinn, married Katherine whose father was Cecil B. DeMille. The famous film maker lived across the street from W.C. Fields. One day the Quinn’s two year old wandered over to W.C. Field’s house seeing toy boats in a fountain. (Fields was a collector of toy boats) The child got in the pool and ended up drowning. The screen image of W.C Fields was one who hated children so the press was not kind.
In early 1946 Field’s health was almost destroyed. By mid-year he left his home and entered a sanitarium. His last weeks were spent in bed often reading a bible. He was asked about it to which he replied “looking for loop-holes”. His last words, according to his mistress, included cursing God and the whole world. He died on Christmas day 1946 at the age of 66.