But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so to the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.
James continues by contrasting those of humble circumstances and the rich man. He in some respects sound like his half-brother Jesus at this point and I wonder if the story of Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler was fresh in his as he wrote these three lines. But the point is made that humbleness of circumstances does not mean the person is not blessed by God and being rich does not mean that person is blessed by God. In continuing in hid theme of faith being tested this makes sense if you’re the one of humble means but also that the rich man does have his own trials and they show his weaknesses as well.
James is being very much like Solomon as well and that is probably why James is sometimes called the Proverbs of New Testament as much of his language sounds very familiar. James definitely has the ‘All is Vanity” for the rich man in this passage. The rich man is warned that riches do not last forever so he might want to put his focus in doing something that does last forever.
Next: Testing Your Faith – Part 4 (Chapter 1:12-18)