16 The Coming Misery for the Rotten Rich

James 5v1-6

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 labourers 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)

  1. Revelation of coming miseries
    We see a call to the wealthy to both weep and howl (James 4v9) for coming miseries. See Romans 2v5, 1 Tim. 6v6-10 (ruined rich).

  2. Realities of the coming miseries
    Fortunes of the rotten rich will be eroded (v2-3), their faults will be established and their flesh (v3) will be eaten. See Mat. 6v19, Rom. 2v6-8, 2 Cor. 5v10, Rev. 20v12, Isaiah 30v33.

  3. Reasons for the coming miseries
    a) Materialism – they have laid up treasures for themselves (cf Matt 6v19-21).
    b) Mindlessness – they live oblivious to fact that the world is not our home. We cannot take it with you when you die.
    c) Malice – the cries of the harvesters have reached the Lord of hosts (cf Malachi 3v5).
    d) Hedonism – leading people into a trap! Also the narcissism and hubris of mankind.
    e) Murder – See Exodus 20, Matthew 19v23-24.