5:7 Be patient therefore,
brothers, until the coming
of the Lord.
Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient over it, until it receives the early and late rain.
5:8 You also be patient. Establish your
hearts, for the coming of the
Lord is at hand.
5:9 Don't grumble, brothers, against one
another, so that you won't
Behold, the judge stands at the door.
5:10 Take, brothers, for an example of
suffering and of patience,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the
5:11 Behold, we call them blessed who
ou have heard of the patience of Job,
and have seen the Lord in the outcome,
and how the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
5:12 But above all
things, my brothers, don't swear,
neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath;
but let your "yes" be "yes," and your "no," "no;"
so that you don't fall into hypocrisy.
In anticipation of Christ's coming, what is it that we should be
What inappropriate things are we impatient about?
In looking forward to Christ's coming, what is it about his coming that
we are looking forward to?
In saying that the Lord's coming is near, it appears that James is off
by at least a couple of thousand years. And all the believers of that
died before the Lord's coming. So what does he mean that it is near?
vs 9 What does it mean to grumble against each other? Why would
I thought the Christians wouldn't go through the judgment (John 5:24),
so why does he say that they will be judged? (xref 1Cor 3:11-15)
vs 10 What is an example of a prophet who persevered in the face of
vs 11 Tell the story of Job's perseverance under suffering. In what way
did he demonstrate patience and perseverance? What happened to him at
end? How does the way in which God treated Job conflict with many
concept of one who compassionate and merciful? In what way was God
and merciful to Job?
vs 12 Why do people uses phrases like "I swear to God", or "I swear on
my mother's grave"?
What is wrong with swearing oaths?
What if you were call into court and was asked to put your hand on
a Bible and asked if you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and
nothing but the truth - so help you God?
vs 7-82Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his
as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone
to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
vs 91Co 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the
time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden
darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each
will receive his praise from God.
vs 102Chron 36:15,16 The LORD, the God of their
sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he
pity on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked God's
despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the
was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.
vs 11Job 2:3 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you
my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and
upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his
integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any
Job 19:25-27 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in
the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been
yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own
I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
Heb 3:14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly
the end the confidence we had at first.
vs 12Mt 5:33-37 "Again, you have heard that it was
to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you
have made to the Lord.' But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by
heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is his
or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear
by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply
let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this
from the evil one
James 5:7-8 Be patient, then,
brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the
land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn
and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the
Lord’s coming is near.
Likewise Peter writes, "The Lord is not slow in
as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone
to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2Peter 3:9 What
the "crop" of which James speaks of? Very commonly Jesus associates
it with people. Notice in John 4: 35,36 "Do
not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open
your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even
now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for
eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together." Likewise
his parable of the sower and other parables.
However harvesting crops has both a positive and negative connotation.
In Rev 14:18,19 it says, "Still another
angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a
loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, "Take your sharp sickle and
gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes
are ripe." The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes
and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. Likewise
in the Old Testament we note that the reason why God waited 400 years
before bringing the Israelites into the promise land was because, "the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full
measure." Gen 15:16
What I take all this to mean is that the Lord is waiting until there is
a clear distinction between the righteous and wicked, both being
matured in their convictions and lifestyle. Such was characterstic of
the autumn rain - the early church. But we have yet to see the spring
rain where the wheat and the tares are clearly distinct.
And just a word on the Charismatic spin on this verse - those who claim
the latter rain to be an embracing of the elitist, class-distinctive
Charismatic/Pentecostal doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it
would seem that such a doctrine would lend itself to pride and
consequently to the propagation of immaturity among the Christian
community given that non-Charismatics are reckoned second class
Christians. The emphasis of such a doctrine is on one's subjective
experience and is used to justify whatever vain thought comes to one's
mind as the Word
of God so as to reckon one's own ideas to be above scrutiny. It's
much like the immaturity Paul criticized the Corinthians of in their
overinflated view of tongues as the measure of one's spirituality,
whereas we are taught that love for one another is the mark of the
Christian. When the Christian community can be characterized by its
love for one another - that is a measure of the latter rain.
Forbear Fellow Christians
James 5:9 Don’t grumble against each
other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the
Hasn't James been grumbling against the Christian community? ("You adulterers and adulteresses" Jam 4:4).
Paul grumble against the failings of the Christiam community in
many of his letters? Apparently their judgments are not considered
grumbling. So what constitutes "grumbling"? Making observations is not
grumbling. Grumbling is the word "stenazo" in the original Greek, which
means to sigh or groan. Here it's combined with "kata" which means
"against" in this case. What he means is that Christians are to be
patient and longsuffering with one another with regards to lesser
matters, just as we must likewise be
with regards to circumstances and with regards to offenses committed
against us by the wicked, "with all lowliness and
gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Eph 4:2 Granted we must hold Christians to a higher
standard, as it says, "What
business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not
to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. "Expel the
wicked man from among you.""1Cor 5:12,13, but in fact the
particular case Paul was dealing with there was a Christian willfully
involved in gross sin, which is generally uncommon.
And this ties in with his farming analogy. For the farmer must be
longsuffering, waiting for the crop to mature. Likewise with regards to
Christian's relationships with each other. You may have to lower your
expectations in dealing with fellow Christians as you patiently wait
for them to mature, just as they likewise may have to do so to you.
Examples of Patience
James 5:10,11 Brothers, as an example of
patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the
name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have
persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the
Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
Jesus said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who
kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!" Mt
23:37a What suffering the prophets faced was largely not at the
hand of outsiders, but insiders. Likewise in the Christian community.
Often the suffering one faces in service to God comes not from the
outside, but from the inside. And concerning Jesus,
"Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you
will not grow weary and lose heart." Heb 12:3
The suffering that Job faced was not just physical. His greater
was mental. For in the midst of his physical suffering he had to do
combat the against accusations of his opponents telling him false,
and slanderous things. Yet his attitude is revealed by his statement of
"I know that my Redeemer
lives, and that in the
he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been
yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own
eyes-- I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! "If
you say, 'How we will hound him, since the root of the trouble lies in
him, ' you should fear the sword yourselves; for wrath will bring
by the sword, and then you will know that there is judgment." Job
And while Job's perseverance was not perfect, the Lord is full of
compassion and mercy. So let's do the best we can. "You need to persevere so that when you have done the
of God,you will receive what he has promised." Hebrews 10:36
James 5:12 Above all, my brothers, do not
swear— not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be
yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned.
"Condemned" is too strong a word as the NIV has it. The idea is
more along the lines that you will be held accountable - fall under
judgement, as the Law of Moses also state concerning pledges, "If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath
to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he
shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth." Num
30:2 For example if swears to a marriage vow, "Till death do us
part", such a person is obligated to keep that vow. And while vows
are not forbidden, they shouldn't be taken lightly. What James says is also an allusion to Jesus' sermon the mount
where he says, "Again, you have heard that it
was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the
oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all:
either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is
his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.
And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white
or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything
beyond this comes from the evil one." Mt 5:33-37
Why make unnecessary oaths? For example, parents often with good
intentions make promises to their children to give them a sense of
security, but of which they know they may or may not be able to keep.
Don't play God and teach your children to play God. Such is a common
motivation in making oaths concerning things which we have little
control over. By doing so people put themselves in the place of God,
which is the root of all evil. To swear by this or that - even by
your own head and foot is foolish, for even these are not yours but
Speech - A Theme
Seems a major theme in James is the control of one's speech.
James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is
James 1:19 Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to
James 1:26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet
keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion
James 2:3 If you show special attention to the man
clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man,
"You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet,"
James 2:16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you
warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what
James 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have
James 3:8 but no man can tame the tongue.
James 4:11 Brothers, do not slander one another.
James 4:13 Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow
to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make
James 5:12 Above all, my brothers, do not swear— not by
heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your
5:7 Be patient my brothers
until the Lord
As the farmer waits for the land until
To yield its fruit with the spring rains
8 You too be patient and stand firm
For the Lord's coming is really quite near.
So surely you can with each other bear.
9 Don't grumble against the
For the Judge is now standing right at the
door. 10 As an example of faith that
Take the prophets who endured for quite a
while. 11 We count them blessed who have
Despite what they faced and what they
Or consider the story of Job and his foes,
Well I'm sure that you know how that story
The Lord is full of compassion and grace
That's why Job wanted to see him face to
face. 12 Above all my brothers, do not
By heaven or earth, or by things here or
Let your "yes" be yes and your "no", no
Or you'll be condemned by what you sow.