PJ’s Daily Devotional for Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
Five words jumped off the page this morning: “He does not resist you.” Who is the ‘he’ and who is the ‘you’ in this statement?
Let me show you the context from James 5:1-6, “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 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. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.” (ESV)
The ‘he’ is the righteous person and the ‘you’ is the rich person who oppresses the righteous person.
This is a strong rebuke against people who abuse their affluence, but this morning my heart focuses on the righteous person who is condemned and murdered by those who abuse their riches and have calloused hearts to those around them. My heart yearns to be on the right side of this conversation; to not be the “you,” the rich person whose calloused affluence poisons the water source upstream which leads to the destruction and devastation of unseen and unknown persons downstream. I do not want my life to be marked on the earth as one who lived “in luxury and self-indulgence.”
I deeply desire to be the “he” in this statement, the righteous person. Reflecting on the Passion of the Christ, I see the great suffering of the Righteous One so that I may be righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21 teaches, “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin [Jesus], so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”). The only way to be a righteous person is through faith in Jesus Christ. It is not by our own good works, but by trusting in God’s goodness and grace.
James is concluding his letter to the church by encouraging us to be like Jesus. To submit ourselves to God’s purposes for our lives. To fully rely upon Jesus Christ in and for all things; righteousness comes through faith!
Let us join with Christ and trust that God is the One who will defend our cases, vindicate our names, and bring justice to the earth. Remember, when you want to get defensive and anxious in your life, let God be your defense and peace!
*Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.