This is the day that the LORD has made. I will live and rejoice in it! Amen.
In Chapter 4, James is warning the community that while yes, they are praying, they are praying for the wrong things. Jesus said, “everyone who asks receives” (Mat 7:28). Yet James reminds his readers that they do not receive because they asked wrongly. They are praying for the things which will satisfy their own desires. Their focus has gone off of God and onto the wrong things of the world. … also known as their own self-centredness.
Before entering the sanctuary, Priests of the Old Testament washed their hands and feet. Any priest who violated this law would die (Exodus 30: 17-21). Rabbis instructed everyone to wash their hands before eating. Jesus took this command and stated that true cleaniness is in the heart. It is our inner longings that become our outward actions. For the community that James was writing too, the problem was building from praying for the wrong things to fighting within the community to boasting and bragging about their life. This was ripping apart the new Christian community. James warns this community that to deliberately fail to do what one knows is right is sinful. Wow.
Great God, thank you for the Book of James that I can be reminded to keep my focus upon You for all thing and at all times. Cleanse my heart O Lord to do Your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.