We conclude the Book of James, and an entire year of reading the Wisdom Literature of the Bible with this chapter. We hope you have learned as much as we have from this, and that your walk with God will be enhanced.
Chapter 5 shows us very well why many call the Book of James the “Proverbs of the New Testament.” James has several different gems of wisdom for the reader in this chapter, and we will do as we did with the Book of Proverbs, picking out one or two passages to consider. Verses 1-6 concern those among the rich who have prospered at the expense of the poor – oppressing, defrauding, and even murdering them. James makes it clear that those people will be dealt with by the Lord in harsh measure upon His coming day.
Upon that premise, he calls upon the righteous to be patient, just as the farmer must be patient for his crops to grow, for the day of the Lord’s coming is at hand. Again he urges patience and steadfastness in verses 10-11, reminding us of the Lord’s compassion and mercy. In the closing verses, James puts great emphasis on the power of faith and of prayers, particularly the prayers of the righteous. He gives Elijah as an example. Time and again, as in verse 16, the scriptures emphasize how important our fellowship with one another in worship is, and how we lift each other up – here we are told to confess our sins to each other and pray together and for each other.
Finally, the charge is given to us to care for one another, particularly for those who have fallen away, and our reward will be great, as verses 19-20 conclude “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.