We aren’t quite done with James 1:9-11.
9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For
the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom
falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will
fade away even while he goes about his business.
I’m interested in that line. Here are my thoughts:
This rhetoric is potent and it is damning.
In “goes about his business” we are to think of 4:13-17, where the merchants plan and plot how to make more money and are supremely confident of their results. But here, too, James is like his brother. I think of the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:13-21 and the parable of the great banquet (14:15-24).
Notably, when James turns to this theme again in 4:13–5:6, it is immediately followed up with a warning to be ready for the imminent coming of the Lord, which I take to be a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Once again, another parable comes to mind: The Parable of the Days of Noah (Luke 17:26-31).