Skip to main content

James 5:2-3: Your Riches Have Rotted And Your Garments Are Moth-Eaten


James 5:2–3
[2] Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. [3] Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. (ESV)

This is not pleasant language. I have often said that if you think you are living a pretty good life, just read the book of James. He has a way of pointing out just how out of touch we are with the kind of life that God requires. In these verses he continues to rail against those who have chosen to follow the idols of earthly possessions instead of God.

James wrote these words roughly two thousand years ago. At that time it was far more difficult to keep things from rotting and decaying. In our sophistication and technology we could likely keep our riches from being destroyed in the same manner than the people in the first century who were the recipients of James' letter.

The reality is, the same attitude that plagued the people of James' day affects people of our day. It has been said that you never see a trailer being hauled behind a hearse. We cannot take one thing with us into eternity. James says that all of the corroded possessions that the rich were so in love with will be the evidence against them when it comes to their being judged before God.

What was their crime? They loved possessions rather than God. Because of their misplaced love they had a misplaced purpose in life. The true believer in Jesus Christ has a constant view of the return of Christ. We long for him each day. The rich have laid up treasure in the last days. The last days are the days before Christ's return. Their focus was on possessions, not the Prince of Peace.

Be careful that the love of money and material things does not trap you. Seek first the kingdom of God. Your treasure is not only in heaven. Your treasure is the Savior himself!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18
[18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV)

Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic.

Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison.

Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death, being ston…

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14
[14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV)

The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers.

Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church.

This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to the Word of…

Romans 15:16: To Be A Minister Of Christ Jesus To The Gentiles In The Priestly Service Of The Gospel Of God

Romans 15:16
[16] to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

The time of the Early Church was a time of great transition. Up until Christ coming and bringing redemption to all who believer the people of faith were the Jews. If you wanted to worship God the only appropriate way was to go through a priest who would offer sacrifices on your behalf to God. All of the sacrificial system was fulfilled in Christ. Now, there was a new way to righteousness.

This time of transition was a challenge for all involved. The Jews had to move from an approach to God that involved keeping the Law. The Law was fulfilled in Christ. Now the way of salvation was a way of faith. There were some traditional aspects that were now gone. It was hard for them to move away from their traditions. It is hard for all of us to move from our traditions.

For the Gentile convert…