Great amassing of wealth will be a sign of the last days, but woe to those who then heap together treasure for themselves, for when Christ comes that in which they have placed their hopes will bring them eternal misery. Regardless of the prosperity of the wicked, or the affliction of the righteous, the blessed hope of Christ’s return will keep the believer steady and patient. Let this therefore incite him to all the duties of the Gospel, and especially to patience and prayer.
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
James 5 Intro – J. Vernon McGee
James 5:1-2 – J. Vernon McGee
James 5:3 – J. Vernon McGee
James 5:4-6 – J. Vernon McGee
James 5:7 – J. Vernon McGee
James 5:8-13 – J. Vernon McGee
James 5:14 – J. Vernon McGee
James 5:15-20 – J. Vernon McGee
James 5:1-11 – Patiently Await the Lord’s Coming
There are many among the rich who are using money as a sacred trust. Not against these does the Apostle utter his terrible anathemas, but against those who make money by oppression and hoard it for their selfish ends. Riches, which have not been gotten righteously, ever bring a curse with them; and the rust of unused or misused wealth eats not only into the metal but into the miser’s flesh. In the light of this passage, it is as great a wrong to hoard up for selfish ends money entrusted as a stewardship, as it is to obtain it unrighteously.
There is a sense in which the Lord is ever at hand and present. But He shall come again at the end of this age. Then all wrongs shall be righted and the oppressed avenged. Everything comes to him who can wait for it; do not judge the Lord by His unfinished work. Be patient till He unveils the perfected pattern in glory. Await the end of the Lord! —Through the Bible Day by Day
James 5:12-20 – Effectual Prayer
In view of the judgment-seat, at which we shall have to give an account of our words, we shall do well to employ the simplest, plainest speech (Matthew 5:34; 12:36-37).
How shall we act in any given situation? The Apostle says in effect, be perfectly natural. The suffering should pray, the glad sing, the sick confess his sins and call for believing prayer. The oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. The body is the Holy Spirit’s temple, and He is asked to bring it to the level of that spiritual wholeness which is His ideal. Where He gives the prayer that can affirm and claim, there is no doubt that perfect health will result. But there is all the difference between human telepathy and divine healing, which is God’s gift to faith.
Elijah became what he was by faith and prayer. Naturally he was subject to the same fears and failings as ourselves. There are two reasons why we should endeavor to convert men: (1) for their salvation, (2) for the arrest of their baleful influence. —Through the Bible Day by Day
James 5:16—The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
When a man is right with God, not regarding iniquity in his heart, nor seeking aught for his own pleasure, the energy of the Divine Spirit moves mightily within him, and his prayers become very strong. They recall the Master’s, with their strong cryings and tears.
The righteous man finds relief for suffering in prayer.—“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray.” There are sorrows we cannot tell to our dearest. Surges of grief sweep over us for which we have no words. Life is a stern fight for us all; and each heart knows its own bitterness. But there is always one resort: we can pour out our sorrows into the ear of our compassionate and merciful High Priest.
The righteous man prays the prayer of faith.—The prayer of faith is that which is so sure of the Divine answer that it knows that it has received it, though there is no appearance of its having been granted to the sense. We can only pray that prayer when we have asked what is in God’s will to bestow. But righteous men cannot always pray thus, because they do not know the Lord’s will on matters not recorded in this book. There are some sicknesses which are unto death, and we cannot pray the prayer of faith for these. If you cannot pray the prayer of faith, take medicine, and use the best means in your reach.
The righteous man can affect the whole history of his fatherland by his prayers.—It was so with Elijah, as we learn here. It was so with John Knox, whose prayers were more dreaded by Mary of Scots than the armies of Philip. —Our Daily Homily
James 5:16 – A man dreamed he was travelling, and came to a little church, and on the cupola of that church there was a devil fast asleep. He went along further, and came to a log cabin, and it was surrounded by devils all wide awake. He asked one of them what it meant; said the devil, “I will tell you. The fact is, that whole church is asleep and one devil can take care of all the people; but here are a man and woman who pray, and they have more power than the whole church.” (Moody)