CPRC Men’s Bible Study
James 5:10-11 Examples
- The prophets are examples of patience in suffering because most or all of them suffered either personal or family trouble or persecution in the form of abuse, threats, imprisonment even death at the hands of the people. For example; Abel, Job, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, David, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Zechariah (Matt 23:35-37) and John the Baptist. Jesus depicted this in a parable (Matt 21:33-40). See also II Chron 36:15-16, “ And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.”
- They suffered because of the antithesis, the battle between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman. Godless wicked men hate God and his servants and their message. Cain and Abel are prime examples—self-righteous Cain hated godly righteous-by-faith Abel. Many of the prophets brought specific accusations and condemnation of the people’s behaviour.
- They showed patience by not retaliating, by continuing their witness bravely and accepting and enduring their suffering as from God. Their patience was an expression of:
- Trust in God
- Waiting for justice
- Meekness (unjust suffering)
- Hope for their future
4.Happiness generally is a mood reflecting joy in circumstances but here “happy” (Greek: MAKARIOS) means blessed. The root is MAK meaning either lengthy or beautiful, pointing, I think, to the character traits engendered by patient suffering, i.e. conformity to Christ (Phil 3:8-11). Christ of course suffered terribly yet is ever blessed and his glory and joy are imparted to us (Jas 1:2-4). He said it was blessed to suffer for righteousness sake (Matt.5:10). What enabled the prophets (and Christ) to do this?
- Love for God
- Their following Christ (Heb 11:25)
- For the good of the church
- Their identity as children of God (John 13:3)
- Looking to future joy and reward (Heb 12:2)
- Glad to be counted worthy (Acts 5:41)
- Job’s patience was his acceptance of all his loss at God’s hand without complaint and his continuing to praise him. The end of the Lord for him was restoration, God explaining much about his work, and glory to his name through Job’s perseverance (also indirectly comfort for many believers since).
- The examples of the prophets and Job serve to highlight the truth of the fifth point of Calvinism namely the preservation or perseverance of the saints.
James 5:12 Swearing
1/2. Swearing was apparently a big problem among the Jews and it meant calling upon God, or another witness as proof that someone was telling the truth or would keep their oath. It implies some retribution or calamity if the oath is not kept.
- James forbids rash and profane swearing. He cannot be forbidding all oaths because it is lawful to swear in a courtroom, to make marriage or confession of faith church vows and to swear by God. God himself swears (Gen 22:16, Ps 110:4, Heb 7:21).
- Swearing was permitted in O.T. law (Num 30:2ff, Deut 6:13, Is 45:23, 95:16) and Paul made a vow. James is backing up Christ’s admonition in Matt 5:33-37 which makes clear that oaths are unnecessary to the man of integrity.
- (see 3 above)
- Improper oaths often include breaking the third or ninth commandment and will bring guilt and consequences (loss of reputation) and condemnation (Zech 5:3) especially on judgment day.
Next BS (DV) Sat. Feb. 4th 8pm James 5:13-18