“Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.” James 5:1-5
The Golden Rule of the rich. Whoever has the gold makes the rules. This was the problem in the church that James was writing about and it is sometimes true today. The courts in James’ day were apparently easy to control if you had enough money. The poor workers could not afford expensive lawsuits, so they were beaten down every time. The worker had the just cause, but they were not given justice. Instead, they were abused and ruined. The poor man did not resist the rich man because he had no weapons with which to fight. All he could do was call on the Lord for justice. When God established Israel in her land, He gave the people a system of courts. (Deuteronomy 17:8-13) He warned the judges not to be greedy. (Exodus 18:21) They were not to be partial to the rich or the poor. (Leviticus 19:16-21) No judge was to tolerate perjury. (Deuteronomy 19:16-21) Bribery was condemned by the Lord. (Isaiah 33:15-16) The prophet Amos denounced the judges in his day. (Amos 5:12, 15) God gave us the perfect plan for everyone to live in peace, but sin entered the world and greed got in the way. Let’s remember that God’s way is the best way.