Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the
husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long
patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient;
stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not
one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge
standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have
spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of
patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the
patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very
pitiful, and of tender mercy. (James 5:7-11 KJV)
The coming of the Lord is used to describe His second coming, or the
judgment of the Lord being dealt out – two distinct and separate usages.
Russell makes the mistake of making the coming of the Lord (parousia here)
always refer to the same type of event, if not the same event (at least in the
After discussing the persecution and abuse suffered at the hands of the
rich, James encourages the brethren to be patient, realizing that God will
revenge and bless them.
James uses the farmer as an example of patience. He waits on the rains, at
the time of planting and at the time of harvest, to come and do their good.
The farmer knows that crops do not grow to maturity overnight. It takes time
to reach the point that harvesting is to be done. Every farmer knows that,
and waits for the right time.
In the same spirit, brethren (Christians) need to learn to be patient. The
judgment of the Lord is coming, but it needs to be the right time – the Lord’s
time. They needed to strengthen their resolve – their faith in the Lord.
The coming of the Lord draweth nigh. The nearness of the judgment of the
Lord can be measured either in quantity or in quality. It may refer to the
amount of time, or it can refer to the proximity of the Lord’s judgment. In this
case, I believe James has used the drawing nigh as he did in 4:8 to describe
proximity. It is the idea that the judgment of the Lord is never far from us.
Behold, the judge standeth before the door!
Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands,
ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
The prophets, especially Job, are examples of the patient waiting for the
Lord. Their patience meant perseverance through difficulties and afflictions.
Regardless of how long they suffered, and regardless of how long it was till
the judgment of the Lord upon their enemies, they continued faithful to God.
Job, especially, was an example of this faithfulness through difficulties. The
story of Job was also an example of the faithfulness of God. Job’s end was
better than his beginning. Regardless of the difficulties that are
encountered, regardless of how severe they are or how long they last, God
will do what is right for His people.
Job 42:12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his
beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels,
and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. (KJV)