v 10. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honour.
This passage resonates with the values of today’s culture! How expressive is James’ analysis of society as we find it today, ‘You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. ‘(v 2) It was no different in the 1st century, and the remedy, James insists, is ‘humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. ‘ Writes James, you are in a battle, don’t expect it to be easy. You are going to have to put up some resistance to the devil’s crafty schemes, and that means making a positive effort to work on developing a humble character. You don’t shout to make yourself heard; you don’t push to the front of queues; you don’t buy the flashy car that proclaims your wealth and wear the latest designer gear to announce you are ‘with it’. ( Hey-Ho, this diatribe could go on for a long time, but you get the point don’t you! Just fill up a few lines that speak about where you have to resist the devil’s crafty schemes – it will be different for each of us. )
But the point is this, humility has to be worked at – it doesn’t just happen. Expect some push back when you set out to resist the devil – but because you resist in Jesus’ name, the devil can be thwarted and you will be able to claim the promise – Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
So here is the wonderful paradox that Jesus announces ‘God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.’ You inherit the earth by humbly letting go of it, that in due time you will experience the fulfilment of Revelation 5:10 ‘And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth. ‘