God’s expectations from His children
Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door! For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy. But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned. James 5:9-12 NLT
As Christians are encouraged to anticipate the return of Jesus Christ, James reinforced the previous admonition regarding insulting remarks hurled among one another. “Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters” (James 4:11). When they continue to “grumble about each other and the Judge is standing at the door” they will be judged (James 5:9). The immediate reference to the context is the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. “In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door” (Matthew 24:33). The Lord Jesus Christ is right at the door. The description James is providing from the text describes how near God is to His children that He knows how we are living our lives. If we believe that God is aware of how we act towards others, we should not take for granted the admonition. We need to clean our acts for God’s return is approaching. One of the things that will happen before His return is that the persecution will intensify. This is why James reminded his readers to look back at the lives of the prophets how they remained strong in their commitment despite the ridicule they received. James cited Job as an example because even when he was wrongfully judged and received stabbing comments made to him by his “friends,” he remained faithful to God. The prophets, too, were ridiculed as well as mistreated by their people. James applauds the prophets and challenges the believers to learn from Job’s and the prophets’ experiences because their character and trust to God were confirmed in the midst of suffering. Job did not curse God and God rewarded him more than the lost he ever had. God will honor our perseverance as we remain steadfast because we trust God.