Readings: Job 10, Micah 6, James 2
Our exhortation today comes from the Epistle of James.
1 My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.2 I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.3 Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?4 Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth?5 Are thy days as the days of man? are thy years as man's days,6 That thou enquirest after mine iniquity, and searchest after my sin?7 Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.9 Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?10 Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?11 Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.12 Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.13 And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this is with thee.14 If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity.15 If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction;16 For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou shewest thyself marvellous upon me.17 Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me.18 Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me!19 I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.20 Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little,21 Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death;22 A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.
1 Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice.2 Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD's controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.3 O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.4 For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.5 O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?9 The LORD's voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.10 Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable?11 Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?12 For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.13 Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins.14 Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword.15 Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine.16 For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.