Last week I divided the verses in an awkward place (between 9 and 10), so I’d like to include verse 9 this week to keep the flow of the verse.
James 1:9-11 “Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.”
“The place of Rich and Poor before God. Both poverty and riches bring enormous pressure on a person to focus on the world rather than on Christ. Thus James exhorts the poor to boast (or glory) in their high status in Christ. The lowly brother will be exalted or vindicated by God. In contrast, James, exhorts the rich to boast in their humiliation. (1) by realizing that their wealth is temporary and that it brings them no advantage before God, and (2) by identifying with the poor in their affliction. The church is to be a ‘countercultural’ community, which reverses the values of the world (cf 2:2-4). Given the context, James seems to be saying that the challenges of poverty and wealth may be one of the greatest “trials” for Christians, as would be suggested by his immediate emphasis (see 1:12) on the ‘blessed’ status of those who remain ‘steadfast under trial.’ ” [The ESV Study Bible study notes pg. 2391]
Written By Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and provides ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.