Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 43, Feb 12 - James 4

Click here to go to today's reading

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

James warns the readers that they need to cleanse their hands and purify their hearts and reference their double-mindness. Verse 9 has always confused me, but the ESV Study Bible gives this explanation: 
Cleanse and purify are OT terms for ritual purity and ethical purity. Laughter shows how casually James's readers were treating their sin. The only proper reaction to God's impending judgement is to be wretched and mourn and weep, as seen often in the OT.

Looking at the full context of the chapter James is reminding us of the importance of taking our sin serious. 


  1. "1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God"

    Sounds like two-kingdom theology to me. I'd love to see the original text. http://interlinearbible.org/james/4.htm

  2. James 4
    1-3 Where do you think your fighting and endless conflict come from? Don’t you think that they originate in the constant pursuit of gratification that rages inside each of you like an uncontrolled militia? You crave something that you do not possess, so you murder to get it. You desire the things you cannot earn, so you sue others and fight for what you want. You do not have because you have chosen not to ask. And when you do ask, you still do not get what you want because your motives are all wrong—because you continually focus on self-indulgence.

    6-8 You may think that the situation is hopeless, but God gives us more grace when we turn away from our own interests. That’s why Scripture says,
    God opposes the proud,
    but He pours out grace on the humble.
    So submit yourselves to the one true God and fight against the devil and his schemes. If you do, he will run away in failure. Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you. Wash your hands; you have dirtied them in sin. Cleanse your heart, because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other.