8: Concerning the Future (Jas 4:13-5:12)
We have studied
the exhortations on doing the word and having a faith that is accompanied by
works. We have also learned two areas of application, namely speech and strife.
In this lesson, we see that James relates faith not only to the present but
also to our attitude towards the future. The teachings in this passage stress
our accountability towards God, who is in control of the future and will judge
everyone when the Lord comes.
ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that”
patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for
the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the
early and latter rain” (5:7).
Did You Know…?
1. Lord of Sabaoth
(5:4): This designation comes from the Hebrew expression that means “the Lord
2. Early and latter rain (5:7): “In Palestine the early rains
came in October and November soon after the grain was sown, and the latter
rains came in April and May as the grain was maturing. Both rainy seasons were
necessary for a successful crop. Knowing this, the farmer was willing to wait
patiently until both rains came and provided the needed moisture.” 2/201
How does each of the three paragraphs relate to the main
Compare the tone of the second paragraph (5:1-6) and the third
What is James warning us
against? Planning? Profit-making?
What two things about our lives
does verse 14 remind us of?
How does the reminder in verse
14 determine the way we live our daily lives? Do you live your life today with
this in mind?
What attitude is James teaching
us to have in verse 15?
How does verse 17 relate to the
Why is it a transgression
(violation of God’s law) if we do not do the good we know?
Where do you stand when you
measure yourself with the teaching of this verse? What good deeds do you need
to start doing?
What sins does James denounce
in this paragraph?
What does the conduct of these
rich people tell us about them with respect to God?
Why should these rich men and
women weep and howl?
What is wrong with heaping up
treasure in the last days (3)?
Are you heaping up treasure in
the last days? What are you doing with your possessions?
Explain the words “you have
fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.” (cf. Jer
What does the word “therefore”
tell you about the situation that called for patience?
What does it mean to establish
our hearts (8)? What does it involve?
How is grumbling a sign of impatience?
What lessons does James want us
to learn from Job’s suffering?
What makes a person swear? Why
is this wrong? (cf. Mt 5:33-37)
In view of the teachings of
this paragraph, in what ways can you be more patient?