James 5:7-11

James 5:7‑11  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 5
At this point the Holy Spirit brings in the coming of the Lord. It is indeed a truth of the utmost moment and of the largest application practically; and all the inspired were led to interweave it into their communications.
“Be patient therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient for (or, over) it, until it receive early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Murmur (or, groan) not, brethren, one against another, that ye be not judged. Behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, brethren, for an example of suffering and of patience, the prophets who spoke in the name of [the] Lord. Behold, we call them blessed who endured. Ye heard of the endurance of Job, and saw the Lord's end; for the Lord is full of compassion, and merciful” (vers. 7-11).
What motive to long-suffering so powerful as the Lord's coming! Good shall then be at ease, and evil be smitten down all over the earth. He will have the glory to Whom it is due. The heavens and earth shall be united under His headship Who is Heir of all things. His own, even in the body conformed to His image, as they once suffered with Him, shall then be glorified and reign with Him. Israel no longer idolatrous, the Jew despising no more their Messiah, shall have Him their King, Jehovah's anointed King, on His holy hill of Zion. All the nations will bow in willing subjection to His righteous scepter, envious no more of His choice; all that see the elect people in that day shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which Jehovah hath blessed. In their Father's kingdom on high shall the righteous shine forth as the sun; and, below, the Son of man shall send forth His angels, who shall gather out of His kingdom all stumbling-blocks and those that do iniquity. Then Jehovah will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth; and the earth shall answer the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall answer Jezreel. And Jehovah will sow her unto Him in the land, and will have mercy on her that had not obtained mercy; and He will say to them which were not His people, Thou art my people, and they shall say, My God. And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatting together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The sucking child too shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the basilisk's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain. For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea.
Such are the consequences of that glorious event. But His presence is more than all the rest to those that love Himself. Nor is there any truth which has a mightier effect (next to faith in His person, His love, and His death) in detaching from the world and its snares on the one hand, and in sustaining under its hatred and persecution on the other. Be patient therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. It is not the providential dealing with Jerusalem and the Jews, any more than death ridding sufferers from the troubles of this life. These are the misinterpretations of fallen Christendom. The truth is the hope of His own coming, which will first act on all the saints dead or living to give them consummated blessedness, and next on the land and people of Israel, as well as on all the earth.
Doubtless we have to await the moment of the Father's will. So does the farmer for the good produce of the earth, till it receive the needed rain from above, both early and later. How much more should we stablish our hearts in patience, whose hope is so much more excellent till the last believer is called! for the Lord's coming hath drawn nigh. Can we not trust Him Who gave us His Son, and with Him all things?
There is another danger, besides impatience, which it corrects. We are apt to murmur, or groan, one against another. How unwise, ungracious, and unbelieving! With what measure we mete, it shall be measured to us again. To judge is to be judged. How much better to wait in patience, overcoming evil with good! Why should we judge? “Behold, the judge standeth before the door.” The time is at hand.
Incredulity says that this was the error of the apostolic church. On the contrary it was the simple strength of their hope; and they reaped the blessing it gave them. If they fell asleep, it was also to wait with Christ, instead of only for Him. It is the true, intended, and constant hope of the Christian, as living now as from the day of Pentecost. Christ Himself is waiting for that moment; so all saints were once, and all ought to be now.
Nor is our Lord the only pattern for us. “Take, brethren, for an example of suffering and of patience, the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord.” We tread the same path with yet brighter hope, though in substance the same. Yet another incentive is added, of no slight force. “Behold, we call them blessed which endured. Ye heard of the endurance of Job, and saw the Lord's end; for the Lord is full of compassion and merciful.” A whole book of scripture is devoted to this aim. How fully Job was vindicated against the detraction of friends! And how blessed of Jehovah, when self was judged! Let us be of good cheer, not hearing only, but truly profiting.