Jam 4:1-12 reverse parallelism:
1a) Jam 4:1a, Where do wars + fightings among you come from?
1b) Jam 4:1b-4, Lust, covetousness, adultery, friendship with the world, enmity with God;
1a) Jam 4:1b, Don’t they come from your pleasures that war in your members?
1b) Jam 4:2a, You lust, and don’t have; You murder + covet, and can’t obtain;
central axis) Jam 4:2b, You fight and make war;
2b) Jam 4:2c-3, You don’t have because you don’t ask/ You ask + don’t receive, because you ask amiss; to spend it for your pleasures;
2a) Jam 4:4, You adulterers, friendship with the world is enmity with God;
1c) Jam 4:5, The Scripture: “The Spirit who lives in us yearns jealously;”
1d.1) Jam 4:6a, But He gives more grace;
1d.2) Jam 4:6b, Therefore it says, “God resists the proud;”
2d.1) Jam 4:6c-7a, “But gives grace to the humble.” Be subject therefore to God;
2d.2) Jam 4:7b, But you resist the devil + he will flee from you;
2c) Jam 4:8a, Draw near to God + He will draw near to you;
2b) Jam 4:8b-10, Sinners, cleanse hands + purify minds + humble yourselves before God;
1a) Jam 4:8b, Cleanse your hands, you sinners/ purify your hearts, you double-minded;
shim1b) Jam 4:9a, Lament, mourn, and weep;
shim2b) Jam 4:9b, Let your laughter be turned to mourning + your joy to gloom;
2a) Jam 4:10, Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord + He will exalt you;
2a) Jam 4:11-12, If you speak against + judge your brother you are not a doer of the law;
1a) Jam 4:11a, Don’t speak against one another. He who speaks against + judges a brother;
1b) Jam 4:11b, Speaks against + judges the law. But if you judge the law;
central axis) Jam 4:11c, You are not a doer of the law;
2b) Jam 4:11d-12a, But a judge [of the law]/ Only one is the lawgiver, who is able to save + destroy;
2a) Jam 4:12b, But who are you to judge another?
Strife among us comes from the desires of the flesh (which includes pride, jealousy, even fear, not just physical desires). The stronger the desires of the flesh are in our lives, the closer friendship we have with the world instead of with God. Because the world desires those things. The one close to God’s heart desires to be free of those things, and to abound in their opposite.
What fuels strife, is entertaining accusations against each other. Beloved, this is the enemy’s absolute favorite tactic to create strife, for he is the one who is the accuser of the brethren, according to the word of God (Rev 12:10). So when those accusatory thoughts go across the register of our minds (He only did that because of this (something negative about them); she always is against me because of that) that is your immediate red flag that you are no longer hearing your own thoughts, but the thoughts of the enemy shot at you like fiery darts (Eph 6:16). You quench them with the shield of faith; in other words, you choose to believe the best about someone, because love thinks no evil (1 Cor 13:5), instead of entertaining accusations, which leads to speaking against your brother and judging your brother.
For the Torah observant, this can often be their greatest stumbling block, because they have seen the truth that God’s people ought to obey Him. So the enemy sets the snare for them, to speak against and judge their brother who has not yet seen that truth. When they step into that snare, when they begin to speak against and judge, then they are no longer a doer of the Torah, but its judge. Why? Because the Torah teaches us to love our brother, and not to put a stumbling block before the feet of the blind (Lev 19:14). If someone has not seen a truth yet, don’t they qualify as blind? But to speak against and judge them is to set a stumbling block in their path.
Someone might ask, how will they change if they don’t know the truth? Our job is to be a witness of the truth (Acts 1:8). PERIOD. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to change someone (Joh 16:8). When we start being in angst over whether a person has changed or not, then we are meddling in things too great for us. And that is another snare. Faith trusts in God’s ability to do His job of bringing change; faith rests in being content with the extent of our own job and leaving it at that. I am preaching to myself too! ♥