James 4:5 says, "Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, ... (James 4:2 ). What does it mean to humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord (James 4:10)? all such envy and covetousness are fruitless, as well as sinful: ye fight and war, yet ye have not; Not probably in the case of professing Christians of that day in a literal sense, but "kill and envy" (as the Greek for "desire to have" should be translated), that is, harass and oppress through envy [Drusius]. James 4 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, by the leading authority in the Church of Christ, presents a verse level look at the Bible. rather, make a great stir and hustle to get the things of the From whence come wars and fightings among you? That command is easy to state, but it’s a bit more complex to understand. James 4: What causes fights and quarrels among you? and then the sense is, they envy at the good and happiness of Resist the Devil! When you pray, you ask for things "that ye may consume it upon your lusts" ... is a form of the verb, say. James 4:2-3 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. James 4:6, ESV: "But he gives more grace.Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”" Clarify • Share • Report • Asked February 22 2016 • Tito Dulay Lim In the dictionary, we find that to say has several meanings. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in relation to your life today. All wars might have been avoided if men had been content with what they had, or could rightfully obtain, and had not desired to have what was in the possession of others, which they could not obtain by honest and honorable means. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. So pleasure here means "that which gratifies." 1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.. 2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? What is fervent prayer (James 5:16)? ESV - 2 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. 2 Timothy 4:2. such as are proper and necessary, and ought to be used: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; 2 My brothers, 1 w show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, x the Lord of glory. for he that hateth his brother is a murderer. ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; some, instead of kill, which seems not so agreeable, read envy; and then the sense is, they envy at the good and happiness of others, and covet after another's property, but cannot enjoy it; all such envy and covetousness are fruitless, as well as sinful: ye fight and war, yet ye have not; go to law one with another about each other's property; or rather, make a great stir and hustle to get the things of the world; rise early, and sit up late; strive who should get most, and quarrel about what is gotten, and seek to get all advantages of one another; and yet still have not, what at least is desired and strove for: because ye ask not; of God, whose blessing only makes rich: instead of all this worldly stir and bustle, and these strivings and quarrellings with one another, it would be much more advisable, and, in the issue, be found to turn to more account, to pray to God for a blessing on your endeavours; and to ask of him the good and necessary things of life, in submission to his will, and with thankfulness for what he has bestowed. and strove for: because ye ask not; If the Lord Wills Education for Exultation: Humbly Under God. others, and covet after another's property, but cannot enjoy it; James 4:2 says, “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” The core of this verse is the last phrase that we don’t have what we want because we don’t ask for it. What is the meaning of "in season and out of season" in 2 Timothy 4:2? So we need to carefully define this sin. Some of them are supposed to say in objection, But we do “ask” (pray); compare James 4:2. have not—The lust of desire does not ensure the actual possession. You do … he has nothing, ( Proverbs Some people wrongly teach, however, that if you fail to persevere in faith through temptation, tribulation, or persecution, that you prove you do not have life, or that God will take away your life. You covet things and yet cannot get them; you commit murder; you have passionate desires and yet cannot gain your end; you begin to fight and … It is not exactly that they killed or committed murder previous to "desiring to have," but that they had such a covetous desire of the possessions of others as to produce a murderous and bloody temper. Letter of James: Inductive Bible Study Questions 4 2. What does the Bible say about prayer for the sick? In his way, and according to the measure of his ability, the felon who ends his life in a dungeon, or on the gibbet, is as worthy of grateful and honored remembrance as the conqueror triumphing in the spoils of desolated empires. Selfish Ambition Is Overcome by Submission to God (James 4:2–5) Selfish ambition causes quarrels and fights within the Christian com­munity, and James says the underlying cause is their failure to depend on God. James is answering the question: Does the ongoing and final reckoning of Abraham's righteousness depend on works as the necessary evidence of true and living faith? James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10 indicate that the Crown of Life is for those who persevere in faith through temptation, tribulation, and persecution. He says (4:2, 3a, italics added), “You lust and do not have; … You are envious and cannot obtain; … You do not have because you do not ask. You do not have, because you do not ask. 11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. James 2:4 Context. See on desire, 1 Peter 1:12; and Mark 4:19. There is no authority from the manuscripts for the change. 2 e Count it all joy, my brothers, 2 when you meet trials f of various kinds, 3 for you know that g the testing of your faith h produces steadfastness. In all the wars which have been waged on the earth, whether for the settlement of disputed questions, for the adjustment of boundaries, for the vindication of violated rights, or for the permanent extension of empire, how rare has it been that the object which prompted to the war has been secured! Ye lust and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. James wrote to believers who seemed to have quite a few problems with their behavior. Is the phrase, “ you have not because you ask not ” true? 13:4 ) because he does not make use of any means, even of Thus this last clause is an answer to the question, Jas 4:1, "Whence come wars and fightings?". The petition of the lustful, murderous, and contentious is not recognized by God as prayer. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. James 4:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] James 4:6, NIV: "But he gives us more grace.That is why Scripture says: 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'" James 4:2 in all English translations. If you sought that from God which you truly need, you would obtain it, for he would bestow upon you all that is really necessary. go to law one with another about each other's property; or James 4:2, NASB: "You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. Hearing and Practicing the Word (James 1:18-27) Translating God’s lessons to practical Christian living . come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? John Piper Jan 18, 1987 112 Shares Sermon. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. 1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. Scripture: James 4:7. The one enrolls the name among felons, and consigns the perpetrator to the dungeon or the gibbet; the other, accompanied with no more justice, and with the same spirit, sends the name down to future times as immortal. 2 My brothers, consider it a great joy when trials of many kinds come upon you, 3 for you well know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, and blessing on your endeavours; and to ask of him the good and James 4. 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. necessary things of life, in submission to his will, and with “Ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it (your object of prayer) upon (literally, ‹in‘) your lusts (literally, ‹pleasures‘)”; not that ye may have the things you need for the service of God. And cannot obtain - By any fair and honest means; by purchase or negotiation: and this leads to bloody conquest. All rights reserved. 1 a James, a servant 1 of God and b of the Lord Jesus Christ, To c the twelve tribes in d the Dispersion: Greetings. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Level 1: … James replies, It is not enough to ask for good things, but we must ask with a good spirit and intention. The little girl who is shunned by her schoolmates knows that she will always be accepted by her dolls. John Piper If literal murder [Alford] were meant, I do not think it would occur so early in the series; nor had Christians then as yet reached so open criminality. of one another; and yet still have not, what at least is desired Thus sought, we shall obtain it if it would be for our good; if it is withheld, it will be because it is best for us that it should not be ours. Yet in the two the all-discerning eye of God may see no difference except in the magnitude of the crime, and in the extent of the injury which has been inflicted. and quarrel about what is gotten, and seek to get all advantages James 4:2-3 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and covet, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war; ye have not, because ye ask not. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. Scripture: James 4:13–16. ye have not, because ye ask not—God promises to those who pray, not to those who fight. Authorship 1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. Chapter 4. Of what aggressive wars which have ever existed is not this true? James Greeting. What is the meaning of “you have not because you ask not” in James 4:2? One way or another all of us need and enjoy our friends. Greetings to the twelve tribes of the Dispersion. You want … (2) He reprehends them by name, who are not ashamed to make God the minister and helper of their lusts and pleasures, in asking things which are either in themselves unlawful or being lawful, ask for them out of wicked motives and uses. In the Spirit's application of the passage to all ages, literal killing is included, flowing from the desire to possess so David and Ahab. There is a climax: "Ye desire," the individual lust for an object; "ye kill and envy," the feeling and action of individuals against individuals; "ye fight and war," the action of many against many. Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, φονεύειν φησὶ τοὺς τὴν ἑαυτῶν ψυχὴν ἀποκτιννύντας ταῖς τολμηραῖς ταύταις ἐπιχειρήσεσι, and ye have not; and ye cannot obtain; but ye have not, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers. world; rise early, and sit up late; strive who should get most, James 3:4 Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder, wherever the inclination of … James 4:2 Ye lust, and have not The apostle proceeds to show the unsuccessfulness of many in their desires and pursuits after worldly things; some might be like the sluggard, whose soul desireth all good things, and yet he has nothing, ( Proverbs 13:4 ) because he does not make use of any means, even of such as are proper and necessary, and ought to be used: The marginal reading "envy" has been introduced from some doubt as to the correct reading of the text, whether it should be φονεύτε phoneute, "ye kill," or φθονεῖτε phthoneite, "ye envy." Read verse in King James Version The correct reading undoubtedly is, ye kill. Ye desire, and have not; ye kill, and envy, and cannot obtain; ye fight and make war; ye have not, because ye ask not; ye ask and receive not, because ye ask that ye may spend it on your lusts. James 1:18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures. So when James says in verse 21 that Abraham was "justified by works" he has a meaning in mind different from Paul's when Paul denies that a man is justified by works (Romans 3:28; 4:2; 4:5). Jan 1, 1989. of But you seek it by contention and strife, and you have no security of obtaining it. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister # 4:11 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family. 1 From James, servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. of God, whose blessing only makes rich: instead of all this Hence "ye kill" (not as Margin, without any old authority, "envy") to ensure possession. Read full chapter. Compare Zec 11:5, "slay"; through envy, hate, and desire to get out of your way, and so are "murderers" in God's eyes [Estius]. The latter reading has been adopted by Erasmus, Schmidius, Luther, Beza, and some others, though merely from conjecture. * The meaning of this saying is difficult because the author of James cites, probably from memory, a passage that is not in any extant manuscript of the Bible. The system of wars in general, therefore, has been a system of great robberies, no more honest or honorable than the purposes of the foot-pad, and more dignified only because it involves greater skill and talent. Phaedo of Plato, by Taylor, London, 1793, p. 158. These letters were sent out as circular epistles to be passed around and read in several locations. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye … Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye lust, and have not Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. their desires and pursuits after worldly things; some might be Ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not - Notwithstanding you engage in contentions and strifes, you do not obtain what you seek after. Answer: The book of James contains a lot of practical instruction for how Christians should live their lives. What is the prayer of faith? or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. issue, be found to turn to more account, to pray to God for a Rev., covet, and are jealous, in margin. Scripture: James 4:2. See on James 3:14. Desire to have - That is, what is in the possession of others. tell me, what hast thou in the house? If ye prayed, there would be no "wars and fightings." Ye kill - Margin, or "envy." He who seeks to gain anything by war seeks it in an unjust manner, and cannot depend on the divine help and blessing. some, instead of kill, which seems not so agreeable, read envy; like the sluggard, whose soul desireth all good things, and yet The apostle proceeds to show the unsuccessfulness of many in This expression is probably to be taken in the sense of having a murderous disposition, or fostering a brutal and murderous spirit. James emphasizes four times in these three verses that yielding to your sinful pleasures does not get you what you thought it would. 2 Corinthians 4:2 Context. Proud member James 4:2, KJV: "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not." Salem Media Group. The true way of obtaining anything which we really need is to seek it from God by prayer, and then to make use of just and fair means of obtaining it, by industry and honesty, and by a due regard for the rights of others. Everyone needs friends, and I believe everyone has them. The Sin of Partiality. Why should we confess our sins to one another (James 5:16)? thankfulness for what he has bestowed. worldly stir and bustle, and these strivings and quarrellings You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. Consider the following meanings. James is talking about the desire that normally arises within an individual, who must make the choice of whether or not he is going to follow through and gratify himself by fulfilling that desire. Question: "What is the meaning of ‘you have not because you ask not’ in James 4:2?" Compiled & Edited by BibleStudyTools Staff, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? Testing of Your Faith. “You covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and wa Apr 9, 2000. So it may be said, that to steal a horse, or to rob a house, makes a man a thief or burglar; to fire a dwelling subjects him to the punishment of arson; but to plunder kingdoms and provinces, and to cause cities, towns, and hamlets to be wrapped in flames, makes an illustrious conqueror, and gives a title to what is deemed a bright page in history. It has been said that "to kill one man makes a murderer, to kill many makes a hero." John Piper Jan 1, 1989 333 Shares Sermon. with one another, it would be much more advisable, and, in the Jam 4:2. Ἐπιθυμεῖτε, ye desire) A kind of Anaphora[47] whereby the sentiment is repeated with increased force. The little boy who is left out by everyone else will find a friend in his dog who is always glad to see him. You ask and do not receive ….” The course of events has shown that indisposed as men are to do justice, there is much more probability of obtaining the object by patient negotiation than there is by going to war. 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