James 5:7-11, 5:12

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Text: James 5:7-11

Patience unto the Coming of the Lord

John 14:1-3 - 1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

I Corinthians 15:51-52 - 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

I Thessalonians 4:13-18 - 13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

I. In urging believers to be patient unto the coming of the Lord, James uses the example of a farmer who must wait for his crops to ripen - 5:7

James 5:7 - 7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

Be patient is remain tranquil while waiting and suggests have patience or wait. Its tense indicates that its action is to be undertaken at once and without delay.

Unto the coming of the Lord refers to the rapture, is until the coming (i.e. the presence or the arrival) of the Lord. This reference to the coming of the Lord shows that, even at this early date, believers were expecting the return of the Lord at any moment.

Behold calls for a closer consideration and contemplation in the sense of remember or consider.

The husbandman is the farmer.

Waiteth for is expects or waits, and its tense indicates that this is customary or normal year after year. He knows it is coming, but he also knows that it will not be harvest time for a while and that he needs rain before it will come.

What the farmer waits for is the precious fruit of the earth. The fact that this fruit is precious means that it is of great value or of great worth. Fruit refers to his crop, and of the earth indicates that it is the earth which God uses to produce the crop.

And hath long patience for it suggests remaining tranquil while waiting. He really has no control over the crop if he has planted it and tended it properly in a timely manner.

Until he receive the early and latter rain indicates how long he is going to have to wait patiently for his crop. There is no question that this will happen, but its exact time is dependent upon circumstances which are uncertain in time.

Its time is dependent upon whenever he receive (i.e. receives) the early and latter (or late) rain. The early rain comes just after planting (in October-November) and the latter rain comes just before harvest (in April-May). Without both rains, the crop will not germinate and ripen properly.

II. Again James calls upon his readers to be patient and strengthen their hearts because the Lord's coming is near - 5:8

James 5:8 - 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Be ye . . . patient is the same term used in verse 7 meaning to remain tranquil while waiting in the sense of have patience or wait.

Also suggests that in addition to the farmer being patient, the believers must likewise be patient.

Stablish your hearts means confirm, establish, or strengthen your hearts, where hearts is a part which represents the whole. It speaks of strengthening the individual believers themselves in the deepest recesses of their beings. His meaning would be the same as if he had said, Strengthen yourselves. He is not speaking here of physical strength but of spiritual strength.

The reason James tells his readers to be patient and stablish their hearts is for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

For is the word ordinarily translated because and should be understood in this sense here.

The coming of the Lord is the same phrase used in verse 7 meaning the arrival (or the presence) of the Lord.

Draweth nigh is has come near. Its reference is to Christ's return at the rapture, and its tense indicates that its action has already occurred in the past and that the result of its action has continued to the present. Since the coming of the Lord has come near, the coming of the Lord is near.

III. He also advises his readers to stop complaining about each other in order that they not be condemned because the judge is just outside the door - 5:9

James 5:9 - 9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

Grudge not one against another means stop grudging (i.e. groaning against or complaining about) each other.

The believers were apparently holding grudges against each other or complaining about each other. It is something people in other churches do. It's good that it never happens here!

Lest ye be condemned in order that you not be found guilty and sentenced.

Behold calls for a closer consideration and contemplation in the sense of remember or consider.

The readers should take note that the judge standeth before the door. The judge is the Lord Jesus Christ, and standeth suggests that He has already taken a set position (He is now standing) before the door, i.e. before the doors, which suggests He is ready to come through these doors at any time at the rapture.

IV. James then urges his readers to consider the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord as an example of suffering affliction and of patience - 5:10

James 5:10 - 10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

Take is an imperative whose tense indicates that its action is to be undertaken at once and without delay. Take suggests getting a hold of something by laying your hands on it or by grasping it.

The prophets speaks of the Old Testament prophets.

Who have spoken in the name of the Lord, where the Lord refers to God the Father or to Christ, both of Whom are referred to in Scripture as the Lord.

For an example is as an example, as a model, or as a pattern.

Of suffering affliction, and of patience indicates areas in which the prophets should be viewed as examples.

Of suffering affliction speaks of suffering they endured.

Patience is literally longsuffering. It speaks of the state of remaining tranquil while awaiting an outcome in the sense of endurance or steadfastness.

V. Those who endure are considered blessed like Job upon whom the Lord was compassionate and merciful - 5:11

James 5:11 - 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Behold calls for a closer consideration and contemplation in the sense of remember or consider. It has already been used in verses 4, 7, and 9 in this chapter.

The readers should take note that we count them happy which endure, i.e. we consider them blessed.

Which endure is the ones who endure or remain steadfast.

The patience i.e. the endurance, fortitude, steadfastness, or perseverance of Job.

And have seen is the end of the Lord, i.e. the goal or outcome of the Lord, i.e. the Lord's outcome for Job and his trials. It is that the Lord is very pitiful (sympathetic, merciful, or compassionate), and of tender mercy (i.e. merciful or compassionate).

Just as the Lord was merciful and compassionate toward Job, He is merciful and compassionate toward us as well.


Text: James 5:12

The Swearing of Oaths

I. In verse 12 James instructs his readers to stop swearing oaths, whether by heaven, by earth, or by anything else. Instead, it is important that their word always be good. Their yes should always mean yes; and their no should always mean no. Otherwise, they might fall into condemnation.

James 5:12 - 12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

Above all things is used to mark precedence in importance and is understood in the sense of above all or especially.

Swear not is understood in the sense of stop swearing or stop (the practice of) taking an oath, i.e. stop taking oaths.

Although a believer should never use profanity, the swearing referred to in this verse has no reference to profanity. It refers to swearing oaths.

Neither . . . neither . . . neither is the same word (meaning and not) used three times in a series. Ordinarily, when this construction occurs, the first one is translated neither and subsequent ones are translated nor.

By heaven, by the earth, and by any other oath are things by which James' readers were repeatedly swearing oaths. However, James is advising them to stop swearing all oaths because they were not keeping their oaths which made them were liars.

Let your yea be yea means your yes must be yes. Whenever they said, Yes, it must really mean, Yes.

Your nay, nay, means that your no (must be) no. James words in verse 12 are reminiscent of what Jesus said in Matthew 5:33-36 ,

(33) Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

(34) But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

(35) Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

(36) Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

Lest introduces a negative purpose clause and is understood in the sense of in order that . . . not or for the purpose that . . . not.

Ye fall into condemnation

Fall, when combined with the negative, suggests not ever fall or never fall.

Into condemnation is under judgment which goes against a person, in the sense of condemnation, and the punishment that follows.