Speaker: Jerry Cisar
James 5:1-6 may seem like it was written in a world far removed from our own. This is partly due to our saturation in our culture such that we don’t realize how much similar injustices occur. This is much like the proverbial fish that—if it could think—would not think of itself as wet. And it is partly due to the fact that we are not familiar with the way James is communicating nor how to understand it.
The twentieth century has been dubbed, “the century of violence” by some with the devastation of two World Wars and the regimes of Stalin and Lenin, to which we should add the passing of Roe v Wade in 1973. But all of this is the fruit of the Utopian promise of the Enlightenment which placed humans and their happiness at the center of its philosophy. The promise that progress held out has left us woefully short of anything that comes remotely close to a Utopia. And the 21st Century isn’t exactly off to a encouraging start.
As we come to James 5 this week and consider what and how James is writing, we will find that it is quite relevant to us. It can be a means of grace to us as believers, and a reminder of what it truly means to be a prophetic people.