Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 94 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading James 5 today and our focus is on the dangers of breaking the law right in front of the judge. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan
As a young fellow, I was a bit, uhm, mischievous, shall we say. I wasn’t a hardened criminal, and never went to jail, but I had a few, uhm, episodes, including that time I was caught shoplifting as an 8 year old, and the police brought me home to my parents…who tanned my hide, as they said back in the day. Yeah, that really happened. Another thing that really happened is probably even more foolish than that, considering I was 18, and not 8, and should have known better. I was driving with my good buddy Bradford M. er, that might be too much identifying information, so let’s say, B. Morrow. 😉 Me and B were riding through an affluent suburb of Birmingham called Vestavia Hills. B. was riding shotgun, and I was the driver. As we were ambling along, cutting up, a motorcycle policeman pulls up alongside of us. Now, normal standard operating procedure when an LEO is around and you are driving is to do everything extremely proper. No speeding. No weaving. Eyes on the road – two hands on the wheel, etc. Except, I was kind of an idiot, and, to amuse my friend, I kept making faces at the motorcycle police officer, who seemed to be looking straight ahead, all stoic like. So – I got bolder, and was giving him the gas face, when….he turned his lights on and pulled me over. He was obviously a dad, and had eyes on the side of his face, or something. He didn’t mention the faces I was making – he just checked all of my information, gave me a stern look, and went on his way. And I learned a lesson that night. Doing something silly or illegal right in front of law enforcement, or a judge is absolutely foolish, and will get you in trouble…and James warns us about this tonight. Check out our verse of the day:
9 Brothers and sisters, do not complain about one another, so that you will not be judged. Look, the judge stands at the door! James 5:9
Don’t complain about each other brothers…because the judge is RIGHT THERE WATCHING! Now – I am on social media, and I think it has its place. In fact, just tonight I broadcast a Good Friday message over our church’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/VBCsalinas/), and we use social media to reach people with the good news. But you usually don’t have to spend more than five minutes on social media to see a Christian complaining about another Christian. We think of complaining as the minorist of sins – sort of like going 1 mile over the speed limit, but it turns out that the Judge of all the earth – the one who is standing at the door? He doesn’t think that same way about complaining. It is a big deal to Him. Don’t believe me?
LET’S Pick a Random Chapter from the Bible. (Spin the wheel…)
- AH – Numbers 11 1 Now the people began complaining openly before the Lord about hardship. When the Lord heard, His anger burned, and fire from the Lord blazed among them and consumed the outskirts of the camp. 2 Then the people cried out to Moses, and he prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down. 3 So that place was named Taberah, (PLACE OF BURNING) because the Lord’s fire had blazed among them.
- SURELY THEY WONT COMPLAIN ANY MORE! 4 Contemptible people among them had a strong craving(E) for other food. The Israelites cried again and said, “Who will feed us meat?
- MOSES: 13 Where can I get meat to give all these people? For they are crying to me: ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I can’t carry all these people by myself. They are too much for me. 15 If You are going to treat me like this, please kill me right now. If You are pleased with me, don’t let me see my misery anymore.”
- God Answers: 18 “Tell the people: Purify yourselves in readiness for tomorrow, and you will eat meat because you cried before the Lord: ‘Who will feed us meat? We really had it good in Egypt.’ The Lord will give you meat and you will eat. 19 You will eat, not for one day, or two days, or five days, or 10 days, or 20 days, 20 but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes nauseating to you—because you have rejected the Lord who is among you, and cried to Him: ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?’”\
So we see that complaining in general is a dangerous activity in Numbers 11. Complaining about other people is also dangerous, and will result in us receiving harsh judgment…which is fine, if you and I are perfect and never guilty of what we complain about in others – but, if we’re honest, we know we are almost always guilty of that which we grumble about in others…which makes complaining about each other very dangerous. It is also prideful, as James told us yesterday in James 4:12:
12 There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
The FLIP of James 5:9 is Philippians 4:5 “5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.”
Tim Keller has some thoughts to help us not complain about each other:
Then in James 5:9 he says, “Don’t grumble against each other …” The word grumble, by the way, simply means to roll the eyes as you speak. Listen. Let me not take long on this, but just to say those two verses in chapter 5 summarize everything the Bible says about poisonous words. Poisonous words are untruthful and unloving. Or Paul puts it positively in Ephesians 4:15 when he says, “Speak the truth in love.”
Meditate with me for a second. Unless you’re speaking the truth in love, unless your words are characterized by truthfulness and love at the same time, your words are poison. You’re destroying people.
Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).
End of the Show: Bible memory verse for April James 4:6 “But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
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