Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ironic Evidence

James 5:1-6 in The Moffatt Translation of the Bible

Come now you rich men, 
weep and shriek over your impending miseries!
You have been storing up treasure in the very last days;
Your wealth lies rotting and your clothes are moth-eaten; 
your gold and silver lie rusted over,
and their rust will be evidence against you,
 it will devour your flesh like fire.
See, the wages of which you have defrauded 
the workmen who mowed your fields call out, 
and the cries of the harvesters 
have reached the ears of The Lord of Hosts, 
You have reveled on the earth and plunged into dissipation,
You have fattened yourselves as for the Day of slaughter, 
You have condemned, 
you have murdered the righteous unresisting.

When I read this the first time, the first half of the passage about the moth-eaten clothing and the rusted gold and silver being "evidence" against the rich man jumped out at me.  The tangibility of the evidence!  It is not something only God can see or judge.  It is right there for all to see.  This moth-eaten and rusted evidence got in this condition through lack of use.  While others suffered, the rich were piling up stuff they couldn't even use.

And now, on a second look I see more.  The rich had amassed their wealth on the backs of people who so needed an income they didn't even protest the low wages.  

Not only can God see the initial tangible evidence, He has heard the cries of the defrauded poor.  Here is His take on the rich in this passage:  You are partying and having a great time, or so you think.  In actuality you are fattening yourselves up to be slaughtered.

Oh the irony!


  1. 2nd time writing this. The first time I hit "preview" to see it before I published, and it disappeared. grrrrr....I HATE when that happens!
    re. your blog...
    Good observations. I don't think it's wrong for people to have wealth. I do think it's wrong to get great wealth at the expense of regular people who are trying to just get by in life, who are hardworking and don't even ask for much...and I think a lot of that goes on in the manufacturing world.
    This makes me ponder the things that I have, which I don't use anymore...I love the idea of giving away what I don't need, so someone else will enjoy it...I've done that, some, but not to the point where it hurts...does it have to hurt, to "count?"

  2. ok so that time I just hit Publish, and not Preview. So, i can't preview what I typed before it gets published...can probably scroll up, though...

  3. I think the relative-ness of "great" has to be between God and the holder of the wealth. I also struggle with the concept of sacrifice (hurt). Once you adjust your lifestyle down, then it doesn't "hurt" any longer. So then, turn the screw tighter? For Bill Gates, having a nice house and a cottage and taking a couple nice vacations a year would not be an extravagance, but it would for me. Thanks for responding. I think your life is moving in the right direction! And you sure have made a HUGE time sacrifice to help support your family. ;)