“Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.” James 5:1-6 NLT
Being rich doesn't mean that someone is evil. The idea that the scripture is presenting is the power that money has. Monetary wealth can grip the soul of man. In fact, I Timothy 6:10 gives this warning: “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” NLT Jesus said this about a rich man: "Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!””Matthew 19:23-24 NLT Money is a means to an end. It is legal tender used to transact business between parties. Money itself isn't evil. The sinful, wicked craving for it is the core of the issue. Our fallen, corrupt nature is perverted and struggles to keep perspective and priority in their proper place. The possession of money gives a sense of power, prominence, prestige, and popularity. A rich man can lure the most beautiful women simply because he is rich. Solomon learned this in his time (see I Kings 11:1-3). In the beginning, God made us to have dominion over the earth and all that is therein (see Genesis 1:26-28). When Adam sinned against God it changed our nature from righteous to corrupt. Because we are corrupt we cannot handle the things of earth like we should. The only way we can handle any issue of life is under the Lordship of Christ. Only a mind and heart that is submitted to the Creator can properly understand life and all its dealings. Herein lies the essence of what James is trying to tell us in today's scripture. Corrupt man abuses the power of money and will, one day, watch as their money perishes with them. Judgment day is coming for those who have lived lavishly at the expense of those who have slaved under their tyrannical control. Many executives live in luxury while their employees struggle to survive. I'm not advocating equal distribution of wealth. Some people stay poor and dysfunctional simply because of lifestyle choices. Bad behavior should not be rewarded! What I'm referring to are the dedicated, hard working employees who deserve good healthcare and benefits that could be made available and accessible if the rich CEOs would simply honor and respect those who serve them well. God is watching this very matter. I have often said that if I were an executive, with the ability to bless my faithful, dedicated employees, that I would treat them so well that they would never want to leave. Having money isn't the issue. Money having you, is. God wants to bless His children. He is our Father!!! What we must do is simply understand that the life we now live is temporary and won't last. Using our resources to glorify God and help others is the way to live. He is watching!!!
Rev. Curtis Norris