We are heading into the homestretch of our study in James. Last time we talked about those who take advantage and cheat in order to accumulate wealth. The charge we receive next will be challenging even to the point of saying “that’s not fair”.
I posted an article on this very subject in July 2013 entitled “That’s not Fair”. If you believe God is giving you the short end of the stick, check it out sometime. Fair warning: I was a bit long winded that day.
Our Responsibility to the Lost
In verse 7 it sounds like James is shifting away for the original thought to start talking about having patience. Actually he is not quite finished with the thought. James has stated correctly that those who steal and cheat their way to wealth are spiritually empty but for a time it looks like they are getting away with it. We have all seen this type of thing before. We see someone doing wrong but nothing happens to them. James says be patient, God’s accounts are not settled overnight. Why doesn’t God bring immediate judgment against those who do evil? James tells us why in this verse; God loves everyone and desires that all men repent. God is waiting and giving them a chance to call on God. Thank God that he waited for me to repent. We should all think the same way. We didn’t start as good Christians treating everyone with kindness. God was merciful and waited for us so we should expect God to be merciful and wait for those whom we think are evil to repent as well. In verse 8 James charges us to understand that God is patient so we too should show them mercy and be patient. Time is short, Jesus is coming back, and when he comes all will be set right.
No commentary needed.
Our Responsibility to Each Other
Starting in verse 9 we do see somewhat of a transition. After challenging us to have patience for those who do evil James now focuses on patience with our brothers in Christ. Don’t be so easily offended by words or actions. James mentions the afflictions of the prophets in verse 10 and the troubles of Job in verse 11. They endured much in their lifetime. Still they did endure and God used them as examples of patience and continuing in well doing.
Jesus said “Blessed are the merciful: for they will obtain mercy“.
** 1st photo serendip.brynmawr.edu
** 2nd photo uberglobal.wordpress.com