James 5:7-12 (NAS Bible):
 Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
 You to be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
 Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.
 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
 Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of Compassion and is merciful.
 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; so that you may not fall under judgement.
“DIGGING FOR RAIN” – A Story of a Farmer and his young son: [See Footnotes [i] ]
One of my favorite authors, Don Nori, wrote a book that I just finished re-reading titled Secrets of the Most Holy Place – Volume Two. Although, Mr. Nori’s intentions might not be directed towards PATIENCE and ENDURANCE, the Holy Spirit certainly spoke to my spirit in response to Verse 7 , James Chapter 5:
“Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it…”
PATIENCE WITH ANTICIPATION:
A FARMER and his young son were walking through the fields of corn they had planted just before the spring rains came. They had thought this was going to be the best year ever. The rains had been heavy for almost three weeks. When the corn sprouted, it appeared as though it had leaped from the ground.
Here is where I believe PATIENCE comes into play. The farmer and his son look towards the heavens daily as high thin clouds passed overhead and still no rain.
They walked together through the rows of stunted cornstalks while kicking up dust of the hardened earth covered their feet as they went.
One afternoon, the young boy mentioned to his father that the neighbors were calling a prayer meeting after supper. The farmer kneeling beside a cornstalk acknowledged the prayer meeting by nodding, then saying, “The harvest rain will be too little and too late for this crop.” He was hopeful, but his patience was wearing thin.
“We need water right now and we need the harvest rain too. That would save this corn, maybe even make it a good year.”
At that point, the young boy thought his dad might not have heard his announcement of the evening prayer meeting asking the Lord for rain.
“Do you want to go? ‘Cause if you do, Mom and I will go too.”
The farmer smiled, nodding his head yes and saying “Yes, we will go to the prayer meeting tonight.” As they walked back to the farmhouse, the farmer’s son, almost speaking to himself said, how cool it would be if the spring rain for the harvest could be saved. Just in case the harvest rain wasn’t enough. Although young in age, he believed in the Lord and knew He would not let them down.
The farmer stopped in his tracks, turning his attention to his son and asked him to repeat his last statement: “What’d you say, boy?” His son immediately thought he was in trouble for his outspoken thoughts: “I was just joking, Dad. I said I wished there was a way to save the spring rain for the harvest.”
But the farmer wasn’t irritated, nor mad at all: “Boy, I think I hear the Lord talking to me through your innocent little mouth.”
Never reaching the farmhouse and grabbing a pick and shovel laying in the dirt, began digging a hole in that spot. But what about the prayer meeting they were all going to attend? With the farmer’s actions, his anticipation of the results, he already knew the answer. “The spring rain is right here in the dry creek bed at the edge of the cornfield. Leastwise, it’s where it was the last time I saw it!”
Although Mr Nori’s story lingers on in detail, I wanted to skip over some parts [you can read it in detail by getting his book] and get to the conclusion of the story.
After digging through the night, while missing the prayer meeting, the farmer was strengthened by the prayers of his wife and the confidence of his son while he dug. When the meeting at the church was over, his son stopped to see his dad’s progress. There the farmer was still enthusiastically digging in a deep hole, so deep that a needed step-ladder was barely visible above the hole. Getting his Dad’s permission, climbing into the hole, the young boy climbed down the ladder to help his dad search for the rain.
After some time, digging together by the light of a lantern, the water began to spring up like a geyser as they ran up the ladder as the hole quickly filled with water and began pouring into the field.
Now, what does this story of a farmer and his son, digging for rain, have to do with James 5:7-12?
I LOVE THE WORD OF GOD!
I can never say this too often, “I love the Word of God”. I believe it to be inspired and inerrant. I believe the Word to be God’s revelation of Him self to man. As someone once said, no matter whether I believe it or not, the bible is still God’s truth.
The BIBLE is our tool to gauge our life. It addresses every topic you will ever face, and has every answer we need to live a righteous life. I LOVE GOD’S WORD!
I do love some of its subjects and situations it deals with more than others such as HEAVEN! But, I also have to deal with hell’s reality.
I love reading and receiving Holy Spirit’s insight and to God’s voice dealing with FORGIVENESS. But at the same time, addressing the issue “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
I do have to confess, I don’t enjoy some of the topics while reading, studying and teaching over the years in the Book of James. I’ve had to examine certain sensitive areas and shortcomings of my own life, as we all should in reading God’s Word with application.
The “P” word…Now I would rather just skip over this. The word James uses for PATIENCE and ENDURANCE in the original Greek implies for Christians “to stay put and stand fast when you would really like to run.”
James gives us 3 examples–
The Farmer (verses 7-9):
If you are an impatient person, then you shouldn’t be a farmer. Like the story of The Farmer and His Son, although discouraged from lack of rain, he wasn’t impatient when awaiting God’s directions, then took action.
FARMERS MUST BE PATIENT!
They must be PATIENT with the SOIL. The farmer must pain and toil preparing the soil to sow the seed. Being an avid home gardener, my patience sometimes run thin: I just added compost and fertilizer last year for the results. Why do I go through this every year? PATIENCE…
The Jewish farmer would do the sowing of the seed every year after the early rains. They must be PATIENT with the seed after the soil is prepared and the seed is shown. And, they must be patient, with the season.
Why does the farmer willingly wait so long?
VERSE 7: Because the fruit is “precious”.
I don’t use the word “precious” in my conversation or writing. Maybe it doesn’t seem manly. After looking up the definition with the corresponding synonyms, PRECIOUS means “COSTLY”. You and I, as children of God, are PRECIOUS in God’s eye. Remember the song Jesus loves the little children…they are PRECIOUS in His sight.
THE HARVEST BRINGS REWARDS:
James is picturing the Christian here as the “spiritual farmer”…waiting for a spiritual harvest.
James reminds us, as Christians, the SECRET TO ENDURANCE is when the going gets tough, is that God is producing a HARVEST in our lives. He desires the FRUIT of our spirit to grow.
We also must remember the farmer doesn’t stand around doing nothing. As the farmer in the story tells, “he grabbed the pick and shovel and started digging.” As James mentions, our faith without corresponding action (“works”) of obedience is dead (James 2:26 AMP).
Then in James 5:9, James urges these believers NOT to “grumble (complain) against one another.” Too many times in my own spiritual walk, I become IMPATIENT with other believers instead of letting God have His perfect timing. He will complete in us what He desires. In His time.
The early believers would have been familiar with this example of James of the Old Testament prophets. When we read how these faithful servants suffered, it should offer us encouragement–ENCOURAGEMENT knowing God is in control, even if our five senses aren’t detecting it.
These prophets encourage us by showing they were in the will of God, yet they suffered proclaiming their message in “the name of the Lord.”
The prophets encourage us by reminding us that God cares for those who suffer for His sake. Someone once said “the will of God will not lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you.” As the apostle Paul said, “God’s grace is sufficient.”
JOB (James 5, verses 11-12):
Job is the classic example of a man who PATIENTLY ENDURED suffering and was blessed by God for his persevering FAITH.
James reminds the believer there are BLESSINGS for those who PERSEVERE through it all. Job lost all he had except…a nagging wife non understanding, and non supporting friends. Job didn’t understand what the causes of his suffering were. He didn’t know what was going on behind the scenes between God and Satan…yet Job endured!
VERSE 12 seems to be out-of-place with the context of James’ message. Think for a moment, how often during trials and suffering, trying to deal or bargain with God in the process. “If you will do this and that God, I’ll do this.” That is an OATH–a promise. An “OATH” is a verb indicating the action of “invoking a curse” and “binding oneself under an oath” (See Footnote [ii] ).
[i] Secrets of the Most Holy Place – Volume 2 by Don Nori – Copyright 2004.
[ii] Expository Dictionary of Bible Words.
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