“Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten.” James 5:2
So, once again, we will not let go. We clutch desperately to the things we have accumulated in this life, and cannot think beyond them. We forget that we leave it all behind. It has no influence on our spiritual life, and no effect on the eternal place we go to. We face God alone. He sees the reality of our character and what exactly we are made of. We have no council to support us, no evidence that we are good or worthy, and when we do see the Lord, we will be terrified. Suddenly all we hoped for is gone. All the warnings we received in life, were true. God so wants us not to face this position. He is not willing that anyone would perish and He goes to great lengths to show us and teach us His ways.
God’s ways are so peaceable and loving and the ability He gives us to trust Him, is so restful. We don’t need to worry about the next life, and also in this life we are kept by His power. He is reaching out again and again.
Here we have another word picture. Your riches are corrupted. What ever we accumulate in this life, is all subject to the second law of Thermodynamics. Everything in this life is running down. Everything is corrupt and will rot away and all living things eventually die. Our houses will be knocked down some day, our clothes will end up in the dump and our food goes out of date really quickly. Our bodies get sick, we eventually die. This is the way of all living things.
Even our data systems have viruses than contaminate and render our systems useless. Our businesses fail, our relationships fall out, our effect on our planet at the moment, is very destructive. But we still trust that somehow our affairs will be ok.
God focuses in this verse, on clothing, which we all need and desire. Whatever clothes we have will never last the test of time. The fibres get worn out, and holes develop and our clothes become useless. They end up in the bin, or sometimes recycled into something else, which in turn, will rot away. God is trying to let us see the ultimate end of everything. We must think outside the day in front of us. How difficult it is to even keep the house we live in, clean… We spend time washing, brushing, wiping our belongings to keep them clean and to keep harmful germs out of our homes. The effect of the cleaning does not last beyond the next washing of our hands. Many find it a futile exercise to keep places clean.
In the bigger picture, our world’s resources are running out. Surely that will speak to us about an uncertainty in the future, which is healthy. We see huge lumps of Arctic and Antarctic ice, breaking off glaciers and thawing to nothing in the sea. It affects our world climate and everything changes, often to the hurt of our local environment. It doesn’t seem to make any difference to our thoughts or habits. We continue with destructive behaviours, and our world continues to deteriorate.
“For I, The Lord, don’t change; therefore you, sons of Jacob, are not consumed.”
Malachi 3: 6
The Lord does not break His promises and He is full of mercy and love towards us. We are spared the consequences of our wayward lives, and are given time and opportunity to repent and believe. God does not change, but we must.
So let us analyse, even a little, the physical things, including ourselves, and compare them to love, hope, peace and patience, and decide what is worth spending time on. God is able to save us from ourselves and open our eyes to see wonderful things in His Word and things that will be in the future. We are not just bodies, and we know it. So let us expand our attention to our inner self, our souls, and seek God’s truth.
If the physical realm is changing, so the spiritual realm in our souls also changes. We need to be sure it is for the good, and not for our hurt.
“Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 5-7