Living a Life of Wealth and Arrogance

In James 4.13-17 we are counselled strongly against having the pursuit of financial prosperity be the #1 goal in our lives. 

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

James 4.13-17

It’s a strong word, but a word we all need right now.

The crux of what is being taught is this:

God’s Will over worldly wealth.

Again with the book of James, it would be so easy to say something like, ‘Man, I need to work really hard to plan my life properly, to not prioritise money, to prioritise God’s will, His Word, His ways, His church, His people, I need to work really hard to plan my life better.’ 

The problem with that is that the burden is on you, the work is on you, the outcome rests on you. We all know, don’t we, that when that’s the case, the outcome is tenuous at best, negative often, and potentially disastrous. Rather than work hard to plan our lives properly, let us seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6.33), and let the Lord Jesus plan our lives. Give Him the work of directing your steps, submit your ways to His will, and watch what He is able to do with a life fully submitted to Him. 

Don’t work hard to plan your own life, let Jesus do it!

Revelation 18.15-20 – Sad for selfish wealth

Today, more of the same in that commercial Babylon aka worldly selfish living is being judged and more people are lamenting this.

15 The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,

16 “Alas, alas,

for the great city that was clothed in fine linen,

in purple and scarlet,

adorned with gold, with jewels, and with pearls!

17 For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.”

And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off 18 and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning,

“What city was like the great city?”

19 And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out,

“Alas, alas,

for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth!

For in a single hour she has been laid waste.

20 Rejoice over her, O heaven,

and you saints and apostles and prophets,

for God has given judgment for you against her!”

The merchants of the non-essential luxuries are pretty sad today, to say the least, they weep and mourn aloud. They’re cut up because the luxuries they sell to the rich are never to be seen again, and because of this they lose their trade, they cease to make money from the rich.

Interestingly, in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste…how fickle and finite wealth is. My Grandmother used to say, rather morbidly, that “There are no pockets in shrouds, and you can’t take it with you.” What she means is that wealth accumulated in this life stays in this life. Wealth laid up in heaven is wealth laid up where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Jesus said that where our treasure is, so our heart is, and we see that here with the mourning and weeping of the merchants.

The shipmasters and seafaring men too are making money from transporting goods to and from money-minded places, and they too lament, Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth!.

Then, the quesiton for us, should we rejoice over the judgement? For God has given judgement for you (you saints and apostles and prophets) against her.

So, should we rejoice when judgement comes, that others are being made to eat the cake of the ingredients they have been baking with, being made to lie in the bed they have made? Do we rejoice at this?

No, we shouldn’t. We should never rejoice to see others suffering.

However, we can rejoice in the righteousness of God, we should rejoice in the fact that He does what He will say He will do. That thinking extends to all the promises He has made because our God is a God of absolutes; He is absolute power, absolute knowledge, absolute wisdom, absolute love, He cannot change, He cannot lie…so when He says He will do something, He will do it. He says He will judge immorality, but He also says that there is everlasting eternal life for those who by faith believe in the name of Jesus.

What God says is true, tried, and tested…what we do with this is, through His grace and benevolence, up to us.