Today’s readings.. (Job 12), (Nahum 1,2), (James 5)
What sort of treasure in the last days; any different from other days? As we complete reading the letter of James we find it is full of interesting and challenging thoughts, the reference to “treasure” is one of them. James is the leader of the believers in Jerusalem that we read about in Acts 15 v,13 when the Apostles met to make a decision about the Gentile converts and whether they in any way had to also keep the Law of Moses.
The years have now moved on from that occasion, James is now writing as the chief elder for the believers in Jerusalem, it is now only a few years before the city would be encircled and then destroyed by the Roman armies in AD 67-70. James’s comments in his final chapter are initially directed at the situation that was then developing there and the awesome future the city faced, and which our world now faces. He is inspired to write – because these events would be replicated in human history climaxing in our last days..
So James is writing to warn them of their approaching last days and he says, “weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you, your riches have rotted … You have laid up treasure in the last days … you have lived on the earth in luxury and self-indulgence.” [5 v.1-3,5] This is so true today of Australia and many other parts of the world.
Remember how we saw in 2 Tim. 3 the reference to conditions in the last days (v.1) and primarily this was about the condition among believers; that they would have only “a form of godliness”. But James continues, “Be patient (steadfast) therefore brothers until the coming of the Lord … establish your hearts … the judge is standing at the door” [v.7,8] These words apply so much to believers today in their failure to cope with this world.
The end of the times of the Gentiles (i.e non-Jews) appears to be increasingly close. The total godlessness around us is as much a sign to us of the nearing “end” as is the mounting crisis in the Middle East surrounding God’s Holy Land. James then states, “Behold, we consider those blessed who remain steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job” [v.11].
So as we read Job for the rest of this month we should remember how James sees him as an example of enduring despite much perplexity of mind about his situation. He is an example of the perplexities believers are already facing in some parts of the world today – and this may spread everywhere very soon. Our thought should be to ensure we have the right kind of treasure – that which is described in the parable of Jesus that we read in Luke 12 v.13-21. Read and reflect on the points our Lord makes and become “rich toward God.”.