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Verses for the Week
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.
(James 5:1-6 ESV)
Where do you place your confidence? Do trust in your own strength, the riches you have acquired, or your own wisdom? Although these things may give you temporary success, ultimately, only trust in God has eternal value. With a single word, God triumphs over the devil and his schemes. It only makes sense to join the winning side! God is indeed a mighty fortress! By the way, a “bulwark” is a wall of defense.
It is amazing to me how we sometimes think we can save ourselves in our own strength. The truth is that our “shame was deeper than the sea.” Only God’s deeper grace could save us from our sin. We cannot save ourselves from death. No, every person will die; but God can rescue us from death. He has made a way over the great divide. Psalm 121: states, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?” Let us recognize that our help in this matter doesn’t come from a country’s military prowess or from our efforts. It only comes from God, the Giver of Life!
This week’s Scripture passage is directed toward the rich, especially those who became such at others’ expense. We may not feel rich compared to those around us, but we are indeed rich compared to many people around the world. Are you contributing to those who trample on the poor of the world? What is your attitude toward the less privileged? My prayer is that we will use this song as a time to allow the Holy Spirit to convict our hearts and mold us to be more like Christ.
The lyrics of this hymn may be new to you, but you probably will recognize the melody, which is commonly used with the hymns Jesus Came, the Heavens Adoring and Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah. The lyrics encourage us to trust in God when host of evil surround us. Our wisdom and courage is not enough against the powers of darkness, but God has promised to give wisdom and strength to His children for defeating the devil’s attacks.