5/27/16 Be Patient, Those Who Have Oppressed You Will Be Judged

Now, to return to those who are being oppressed by the rich, both Jews and Gentiles, in the communities you are now living in.  Jesus spoke of what is coming soon, the destruction of Jerusalem and many surrounding areas in Judea by the Romans.  Those who place their riches at the center of their lives, who worship them over God Himself, will be mourning bitterly the loss of everything they hold dear very soon.  Those who obtain their riches illegally or unethically, those who use their riches to mistreat and abuse others, and those whose riches are their god will be judged and torn down in the coming destruction, and on the Day of God’s Judgment as well.  Their riches are dirty and tarnished.  Their fine clothing is full of holes and falling apart.  They have withheld wages from their workers, condemned and even killed in their quest to get more, building up their wealth dishonestly and living like royalty.  But they do not realize that they are like calves being fattened up to be slaughtered.  Those they have trampled in their lust to gain more for themselves have been crying out to God, and He has heard them.  So I exhort you, my brothers and sisters, to be patient.  God knows everything that happens, and He will not turn His back on you.  Be like farmers, who wait patiently for their crops to be ready to harvest.  When the time is right, God will come, so take comfort in this knowledge.  And remember, do not judge each other, unless you wish to also be judged in like manner.  God is the only true Judge, let Him judge and none other.  Think of the prophets, how they had to endure persecution in order to fulfill their duty and proclaim God’s messages to His people.  Even through all their suffering, they did not stop doing what they were called by God to do, and we revere them now because of it.  Think of Job, and all of his suffering.  While he was enduring it, it seemed like more than he could bear, but he did not give up, and God blessed him for it richly, because He shows mercy to those who are faithful to Him.  And most importantly, my brothers and sisters, remember what Jesus taught us about swearing oaths – do not do it!  Oaths are used by those who try to cheat people, and they are usually cleverly worded so that the one swearing the oat can get out of it without condemning himself in the process.  As Jesus said, ‘Let your yes be yes and your no be no,’ in other words, simply be truthful at all times and your reputation will show people that your word is trustworthy.

 

James 5:1-12, Matthew 5:37

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