The Judge is at the door!
Scripture reading for November 21st: James 5:1-20
Most Christians know about the promise of Jesus coming again. This coming has been foretold for about two thousand years and it still hasn’t taken place. James wrote to remind the early church and us of our need for patience and active faith in the face of suffering and persecution.
“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” (James 5:7-9)
Being a farmer in my early years taught me a lot about patience. I could plant the seed, but I couldn’t hurry the harvest. I could keep the weeds out of the crop, but God had to bring the rains in their proper time. I had to wait with faith that God would provide. He always took care of us, even though it was sometimes at the last minute!
When we wait, it is easy to become impatient and get into strife and grumbling. The Israelites did this as they waited in the desert to go into the promised land. Their grumbling brought God’s judgment. (1st Corinthians 10:1-10) James warns us not to grumble. The One who will judge us is right at the door–ready to come at any instant! Knowing this and believing this should help keep us on the right course to meet the Lord.
James cites the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord as another example of patience. “As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:11) Job lost everything he had as well as his health but he held onto his faith. He was eventually restored double by the Lord! (Job 42:10) Perseverance and faith have a great reward in the end. So it shall be for each person who trusts God and stays faithful through the trials and tests of life. The righteous Judge will restore and reward the faithful but the unbeliever will suffer great loss!