Skip to main content

The Misery of the Greedy - Part II


"4 Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you."

Good Morning my beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's day! Let us rejoice for another day to worship and praise our Lord.
We're so glad to have you here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift all of you up in our prayers. We appreciate those of you who have been sharing our website with all of your family and friends. May we continue to share God's Word with all those who need to hear, for Christ's sake and God's glory.
As we learned last time, James is presenting us with yet another tests for living, saving faith. A test to validate or invalidate a person’s claim to be a Christian. It is one thing to claim to be a Christian, it is quite another to be able to validate that claim with your life. And that’s really what James is after. 
Nothing in the Bible exceeds the rebuke here unleashed against the selfish rich who live for material prosperity. James warns both the rich and poor concerning the numbing effects of total absorption in obtaining wealth and power. The prideful self-centered wealthy are anesthetized to the fact that Divine judgment will come upon them for their greed and misuse of wealth.
I believe that modern America would do well to ponder James' warning. Since we all face the same sinful temptation when it comes to wealth: either to covet it, or to flaunt it, the poor are as much in danger from an inordinate desire towards wealth as the rich are. Though rich of whom James spoke would experience a judgement in their own time, so we too, will experience God’s temporal judgement in our world today. Greed is not unseen by God, Who sees all things.
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father,
Father, we thank You as always for Your Word for us. We are grateful for this truth, such a needful reminder of just how easy it is for us to fall into the materialistic trap of the world, in the days in which we live. Lord, help us not to uselessly hoard, that we might fall into the sins of the wicked wealthy who will be judged. Help us to give faithfully, freely and live by faith, trusting that You will provide our needs. Help us to understand that as Christians that if our brother has need, what we have belongs to him, and to withhold it, is to rob him. May we never be among those that contribute to the injustice of the suffering of others.
Lord, use our homes as a place where Jesus Christ is exalted, and where weary people can find rest and provision and love. Cause us to use every resource we have been abundantly blessed with, for the sake of Christ. Help us to understand, that You have laid at our feet a great responsibility to care for others. Help us to trust You to replenish what we need, that we would not become consumed with ourselves. We ask Your forgiveness for the resources You have given us that we have wasted. May all that we do exalt Christ and glorify You.
We ask and pray in Christ's name  
Today's Message: The Misery of the Greedy - Part II  
Open with me your Bibles to the fifth chapter of James. As we continue in our study of this wonderful epistle, we come to verses 4 through 6. As I mentioned previously, throughout his epistle, James has been presenting us with a series of test. Tests to validate or invalidate our faith,  to see whether or not, we have living, saving faith.

I invite you to follow along with me as I read, to set the text in our minds, as we prepare our hearts, for what the Spirit of God has to say to each of us. James 5:4-6.

"Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you."
Before we get in to our study of James, turn with me quickly to II Peter chapter 2, here Peter says " But false prophets also appeared among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their indecent behavior, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, held for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example of what is coming for the ungodly; and if He rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the perverted conduct of unscrupulous people (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from a trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt passion, and despise authority."

By reading II Peter 2, it is my intention is to bring the text of James a little more clear into your focus. James is talking about those who were claiming to be Christians, who love money. By expanding this a bit, I mean to say that those who are especially guilty of claiming to be Christians but loving money are false teachers. Those who are in it for the money, and use the name of Jesus to make merchandise of people.  That is to say, they essentially turn you into a commodity for their own gain.

Money has totally corrupted these people. In fact, it is characteristic of false teachers that they are engaged in scandalous and often immoral conduct, and things that bring them money. They love the wages of unrighteousness. Though they use words that speak of God and Christ, they’re words of hypocrisy. They discredit things that are true and they give credit to things that are not. And, they do it all, for the love of money. When you see false teachers, it’s really not that difficult to discern what you’re looking at.

The day of reckoning, for many, may be occurring right now in our global economic meltdown.This passage should serve to exhort us to examine how we are treating the wealth that God has given to each of us. We should examine how we are treating others economically. 

Let's go back to James 5, verse 4. "Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth." Not only was their wealth uselessly hoarded, but it was unjustly robbed. It wasn't theirs to begin with. Rather than being generous with the poor, they exploited them. Instead of giving to the poor, they withheld from them. Instead of giving them the small wage that they had earned, they kept it back. 

Leviticus 19:13 says "You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning." In other words, pay him before night falls.

God is omniscient, He is is omnipresent. God hears of the greed of those selfishly pursuing riches. James says that the cry of those who harvest the fields owned by the rich has reached God’s ear. Much like many today, these workers would have been living paycheck to paycheck and would have been dependent upon their payment of the wages they've earned. They were crying out because of their need and the injustice of those who were in power. God, indeed, heard their cry, just as He hears the cries of those who are suffering from injustice today. God knows who contributes to their distress, and believe me, He is not pleased. Just as God sees all of our sin, He also sees our greed, that which we withhold from doing good, bringing Him glory.

Turn with me to Romans chapter 2, beginning at verse 5. Paul tells us, "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God."

And, in 1 Timothy 6:17-19, he says "Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed." The only way to live in the light of the coming of Christ. The damning sin of uselessly hoarding your wealth brought judgment. Scripture insists on the prompt payment of wages to a hired laborer.  That is the system of the day.

When people in the name of Christ or in the name of any religion, for that matter, rob people for supposedly the sake of spiritual ends, only to pour millions of dollars into their own indulgence, they certainly are living illustrations of verse 4! And, to express the self-indulgence of the wealthy wicked James uses three verbs.

Now, let's look at verses 5 and 6, "You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you." 

First, he says "You are lived luxuriously on the earth," the word used here is "trypháō," meaning dainty living or soft living. As a footnote, that word is only used here in James 5:5. The greedy thinks he's safe, that he will always be in luxury, but rest assured, he will not. God doesn’t necessarily want you to sleep on a straw mat, however, many people carry it way beyond anything reasonable! Just look at what we’re seeing in the world today. Large corporations, banks and oil companies have amassed huge amounts of money, they have robbed the people that have little, charging exorbitant interest rates, they have taken it from others and have consumed it on themselves.And, they have done so in order to give themselves soft luxurious life style of indulgence, personal indulgence, living far beyond what is normal.

James goes even further, and you've "led a life of wanton pleasure." Look around, they’re on TV, claiming the name of Jesus. Just look at them, spending a fortune on their wardrobe, their cars, their houses, and on their furnishings. They are literally consumed with their own pleasure. We’ve seen it, we have watched it happening right before our eyes. It’s all being played right out in front of us. A life without self-denial is a life that is soon out of control. Consumed with luxury and pleasure, they simply cannot restrain themselves. I've watched these people, indulging themselves with every imaginable vice, it is beyond comprehension.

He then says you have "fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter." Even at a time when many were dying around them, whether as a result of the famine or violence, or because they had not received their wages, the hearts of the rich continued to be nourished, and they fattened themselves up. In other words, even with death all around them, they have continued with their luxuries, completely unconcerned.

The word used is "trephó," it is used in the Septuagint of Jeremiah 46:21 in speaking about the fattening up calves. It means to make to grow, to nourish, to feed. It's used of animals, because the fatter they are, the more they’re going to bring you when you weigh them. In other words, James is saying you have indulged yourself to the limit.

The richest one percent now owns more of the country’s wealth than at any time in the past 50 years. The the top one percent own more wealth than the bottom ninety percent combined. Incidentally, the wealth owned by the bottom ninety percent, continues to fall. It is significant to note, that the gap between the wealthy and everyone else, has only become even wider over the past several decades.

It has been said that a man with money closes his eyes to the needs of other people, he closes his eyes to the work of God. Yet, his eyes are wide open to his own self-gratification.

In I Timothy 5:6 Paul says it this way, "But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives." 

One in three people globally do not have access to safe drinking water. While, on average, most Americans use eighty to one hundred gallons of water a day. Somewhere in the world, a child under age fifteen child dies every five seconds from hunger, while Americans throw away 14 percent of the food we purchase.

Furthermore, over three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. At least eighty % of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. More than eighty percent of the world's population lives in countries where income differentials are widening. Recent estimates for global poverty state that ten % of the world, or over 700 million people, live in extreme poverty, struggling to fulfill even the most basic needs.

While the average American spends between ninety-two and two hundred-eight dollars per day! With millennials spending the most.

In verse 6, James lays out two more charges "You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you." James is saying that greed leads to injustice and sometimes even murder. The word "to condemn," is "katadikazó," which means "to sentence someone, to pass sentence upon." And, the word for "put to death," is the word "phoneuó." You  have sentenced people and murdered them, literally using the courts to murder people. Sometimes people are used, other people are abused, and others, are sometimes killed.

It’s been said that James never mentions the crucifixion of Christ. However, verse 6 may actually be a reference to His death.

In Closing.. 

I believe that we as believers can learn from this message, because we don’t want to repeat the sins of hypocrites, that we don’t love the world. To find ourselves consumed by self-indulgence.Fulfilling our selfish lusts at the expense of the destruction of others. What a frightening way to waste the substance that God has given us.There's an old saying "Money talks." What does yours say about you?

Beloved, God does not prosper us to raise my standard of living but to raise our standard of giving. God blesses us so we can bless others, in His name, so that He can receive the glory. I must admit, I love watching how God uses the generosity of His people to make an impact in the lives of others. In all my years of ministry, I continue to count it a great privilege to be used by Him. However, you will never discover that joy until you have surrendered to Him.

Some years ago, around 2004, CNN carried a story of a 62-year-old man who was rushed to Cholet General Hospital in France, suffering stomach pain. His family told doctors the man had a history of mental illness and a penchant for swallowing coins, but nothing could have prepared the doctors for X-rays of the man’s stomach. It was filled with 350 coins he had swallowed. The doctors performed surgery to remove the mass, but the man died of complications twelve days later.

Though not many swallow coins, millions of people are making themselves sick with money and materialism. Many spend their youthful years, trying to make more and more money, only to spend what they've made in their older years, simply to stay alive.

Let us all pursue Christ and seek to walk in the new way of life to which He’s called us. 

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Copyright © 2019-2021 All Rights Reserved


The Brian Monzon Ministries



Email *

Message *

Check Out Our Most Popular Messages

You Can't Quarantine The Word of God

" 35  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there. 36  Simon and his companions went searching for Him. 37  They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for You!” 38  And He said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” 39  So He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40  Then a man with a serious skin disease came to Him and, on his knees, begged Him: “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41  Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. “I am willing,” He told him. “Be made clean.” 42  Immediately the disease left him, and he was healed. 43  Then He sternly warned him and sent him away at once, 44  telling him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer what Moses prescribed for your cleansin

The Things Which Must Soon Take Place

    " The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2  who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3  Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near." Revelation 1:1-3 Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord. Thank you for joining us today, we're glad to have you here. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. We are grateful to each of you. And through your sharing, God has brought a number of people to Christ. Praise God! May He continue to use you and this minist

Nothing Has Changed If You Haven’t Changed

Good Morning beloved family, I'm so glad to have all of you joining us today! Let's give a shout of praise to the Lord! Amen! Heavenly Father, As we gather here today, enlighten our understanding, purify our hearts every desire, quicken our wills, and strengthen every right purpose. Grant us wisdom and discernment, that we may better know Your Word and understand. Direct us, in clarity, during this time of worship, guide us to the magnifying and exalting of Your name, and to the e nduring good of us Your children and servants, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen " To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:   A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A ti

Ministry With A Mission

    " Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2  To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." I Timothy 1:1-2     Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been lead to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I know that I mentioned this to you in our last message, however, Scripture calls us to pray with and for our brothers and sister in Christ. I again, would like to encourage all of you to visit our Prayer Wall, there are a number of them who are in great need of some faithful prayer warriors. I pray that you will join us in praying for them in their time of need. I would greatly appreciate it, and I know that they would as well!   I Timothy 2:1 tells us " First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and than

The Power Of A Humble Prayer

      " Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; 2  and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. 3  But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one . 4  We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5  May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ." II Thessalonians 3:1-5     Good Morning my beloved,   Welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been prompted to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I believe that peace, encouragement and good hope are present realities for any true believer. It stands in stark contrast to what the world offers. In the face of life's challenges, discouragements persecution, and shattered dreams, God brings encouragement to th