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Read Introduction to James
“…the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away”
In verse 9 James gave the viewpoint of the financially poor, now in this verse he gives the viewpoint of the financially rich. The poor should glory in his spiritual wealth and the rich should glory in eternal things.
the rich in his humiliation,
There a humiliation in wealthy persons – one day they will die. Their wealthy status will not last forever. The rich person can rejoice in his future humiliation at death because he knows he has an eternal future ahead.
because as a flower of the field he will pass away
The rich will not be on top of the totem pole in Heaven. Wealth will give her no power there. Her wealth will pass away like a flower of the field.
Temporal wealth is transitory; eternal wealth goes on forever.
It is important to our Christian life that we keep an eternal point of view. We all face deep grief in this life. Financial reversals and loss of loved ones bring us to our knees. Money cannot carry us through those kinds of trials. Both rich and poor cast themselves on God in the same way.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).