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Read Introduction to James


“Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.”


In this verse, we see that the sinfully wealthy not only hoarded their wealth, but they acquired their wealth by illegal means. 

Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields,

Wealthy owners of numerous fields exploited their harvest workers by cheating them out of their legitimate wages. Although these owners had extensive land holdings, they cheated their employees. 

which you kept back by fraud,

The issue here is not the acquisition of wealth but how they obtained their wealth. The word “fraud” means to deprive by deception. These owners of fields cheated their workers out of fair wages. The concern is not that the landowner made capital gain but that he greedily defrauded his employees. 

cry out;

These defrauded workers cry out for redress from God. The words “cry out” mean to croak, to vociferate. The Greek uses this term for the cry of a raven giving the idea of a shriek as in a loud cry or scream. The idea is that they are in a desperate situation. 

and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth

The word “reached” means to enter into. The prayers of the reapers go into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. God hears and answers prayer. 

Cries for justice from the reapers reaches the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth (Hosts, Armies). God, as the Commander-in-chief, will go to war against those who defraud their workers. The sovereign God Almighty sees this kind of thing. The oppressed on earth have an Ally in heaven. The wealthy should think twice about defrauding the poor because the God of Armies watches their actions. 

Lev. 19:13, “You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning.”


God hears the prayer of the financially oppressed. 


God hears the cry of the financially oppressed. He will not allow exploitation of the poor to continue without end. As the Lord of Armies, He will muster His forces against those who defraud His people. God has the sovereign power to do this. No matter how powerful your employer, God, can intervene in your situation.  

There is nothing lower in free enterprise than a businessperson that does well and yet cheats his workers out of their legitimate wages. His materialistic lust is to accumulate more and more wealth. He does not need this abundance, but he acquires it in a frenzied search for happiness. God ultimately deals with this type by taking the means of making money away. He did this with the Soviet Union and other countries that violate their people. He will marshal His forces against a business that cheats its workers. 

In God’s laws of business, the worker has rights for wages. The employer who selfishly abuses his employees goes against God’s laws of the establishment. Just as the military protects our freedom, so business should provide means for all. Isolation of prosperity for some destroys God’s system of prosperity for all. Under God’s economy, prosperity is the sphere of business, not the government. Business has a responsibility to its workers in His economy.