Cover to Cover
The world is filled with people who do not know the Lord, people that are considered “good people” because they are kind, caring, hard-working people. However, especially today in evangelized nations, people are not in pursuit of salvation or Jesus as Savior. If such ones are not born again, they are separated from God and headed for eternal damnation once they die.
There are other people who would be considered “bad” or “evil” because they get into behavior that is harmful to others or criminal. Some Christians can be very condemning of people who are wicked, very quick to point out how wrong people are. These people are also unchanged in their nature and headed for hell.
In verse 7, James encourages the Christian to be patient for the Lord’s return. He speaks of a farmer, being patient for the harvest, for the “precious fruit of the earth.” James is comparing these sinners to precious or valuable. God considers these sinners worth dying for, just as we are. God is patient with people, knowing they are lost and blind to His love and rescue. Most unsaved people don’t know the truth for what it really is. If God considers a sinner as precious, then we should as well. Instead of separating ourselves and acting superior to a sinner or another saint, we should see those people as precious as we consider ourselves to be.
Verse 11 says, “the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” Unlike the rich oppressors in verses 1-6, God is merciful; and like God, we pray earnestly because God is merciful. Like God, we work to turn people back to truth because God is merciful, saving us all from a multitude of sins.
These chapters start the proclamations against Egypt and Pharaoh, for Israel to have insight into what God will do to their enemies. Again, notice the phrase, “they will know that I am the Lord” throughout these chapters. Not only did God want to be known by Israel, but also by foreign nations. God loves all people everywhere. Even in judgment, God is trying to get attention so people can know Him and turn to Him for help. For the people in our lives, let’s represent God well, and lead them in surrender to His love.