Fragment: The Expression of God's Favor

James 1:9‑11  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
"Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: but the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof faileth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways."
The Jews had to be guarded against a wrong thought of the expression of God's favor, because all that which the gospel brought out is so contrary to that which they had been accustomed to. The general character of the epistle of James is like a continuation of our Lord's teaching on earth. It does not present truth in its heavenly application, but in connection with its judgment of earthly things. The Lord looked at all earthly grandeur and the only thought of His heart was, that God has not His place: so here. The divine nature cannot adapt itself to man's lusts; and therefore when in a man, It necessarily comes athwart all that men are cherishing and pursuing. The thought of these verses is that the believer is to rejoice in that which brings out his real condition in God's grace; because it is divine truth which alone does this. By getting social communication on heavenly subjects it brought the one down, and raised the other up. The world had lost its power in principle; and then it is found that inequality of position is that which draws out affection, and not equality. The metaphor in verse 11 states the fact that when judgment comes, the rich are more exposed to trial than the poor; for example, in political revolutions, wars, and earthly changes, &c.; but the great point here is the judging all that appears by letting in daylight upon the scene. Judgment is upon the whole scene we are living in.