James 1:7
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
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(7) Once more the Apostle warns the doubtful, holding out no hope of help until the wavering mind be fixed on God.

1:1-11 Christianity teaches men to be joyful under troubles: such exercises are sent from God's love; and trials in the way of duty will brighten our graces now, and our crown at last. Let us take care, in times of trial, that patience, and not passion, is set to work in us: whatever is said or done, let patience have the saying and doing of it. When the work of patience is complete, it will furnish all that is necessary for our Christian race and warfare. We should not pray so much for the removal of affliction, as for wisdom to make a right use of it. And who does not want wisdom to guide him under trials, both in regulating his own spirit, and in managing his affairs? Here is something in answer to every discouraging turn of the mind, when we go to God under a sense of our own weakness and folly. If, after all, any should say, This may be the case with some, but I fear I shall not succeed, the promise is, To any that asketh, it shall be given. A mind that has single and prevailing regard to its spiritual and eternal interest, and that keeps steady in its purposes for God, will grow wise by afflictions, will continue fervent in devotion, and rise above trials and oppositions. When our faith and spirits rise and fall with second causes, there will be unsteadiness in our words and actions. This may not always expose men to contempt in the world, but such ways cannot please God. No condition of life is such as to hinder rejoicing in God. Those of low degree may rejoice, if they are exalted to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom of God; and the rich may rejoice in humbling providences, that lead to a humble and lowly disposition of mind. Worldly wealth is a withering thing. Then, let him that is rich rejoice in the grace of God, which makes and keeps him humble; and in the trials and exercises which teach him to seek happiness in and from God, not from perishing enjoyments.For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord - Compare Hebrews 11:6. A man can hope for favor from God only as he puts confidence in him. He sees the heart; and if he sees that there is no belief in his existence, or his perfections - no real trust in him - no reliance on his promises, his wisdom, his grace - it cannot be proper that he should grant an answer to our petitions. That will account sufficiently for the fact that there are so many prayers unanswered; that we so frequently go to the throne of grace, and are sent empty away. A man that goes to God in such a state of mind, should not expect to receive any favor. 7. For—resumed from "For" in Jas 1:6.

that man—such a wavering self-deceiver.

think—Real faith is something more than a mere thinking or surmise.

anything—namely, of the things that he prays for: he does receive many things from God, food, raiment, &c., but these are the general gifts of His providence: of the things specially granted in answer to prayer, the waverer shall not receive "anything," much less wisdom.

For let not that man; he that wavers, in opposition to him that asks in faith: all doubting doth not hinder the hearing of prayer, but that which excludes faith, Mark 9:23,24.

Think; vainly conceit, or persuade himself.

That he shall receive any thing of the Lord; even the least mercy, much less the wisdom mentioned. For let not that man think,.... Imagine, conclude, or please himself with such thoughts,

that he shall receive anything from the Lord; wisdom, or anything else, he is seeking after; for wanting faith, he has nothing to receive with; faith is the grace, which receives the Lord Jesus Christ himself, and all grace from him; which receives a justifying righteousness, pardon of sin, adoption of children, and even the everlasting inheritance, at least, the right unto it; wherefore those who have not faith, as the wavering man, cannot receive any thing.

For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Jam 1:7. μὴ γὰρ οἰέσθω] On γάρ, see Jam 1:6; it is neither the simple particle of transition (Pott), nor equivalent to ergo (Calvin), nor is it to he explained, with Winer [E. T. 558], according to its derivation from γε and ἄρα, by thus indeed; but is the reason for the exhortation in Jam 1:6; hence for.

The warning: μὴ οἰέσθω, supposes the fancy of the doubter, that he will receive something from God in answer to prayer; similarly Matthew 3:9 : μὴ δόξητε.

ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος] refers back to ὁ διακρινόμενος. Although not in ἐκεῖνος (in itself), yet in the whole mode of expression, there is something disparaging.

By λήμψεται,[53] instead of δοθήσεται (Jam 1:5), is not intended to be indicated, that the fault of not being heard lies not with God but with man; rather he receives not, because God gives not.

τί naturally refers to what the doubter asks; thus scil. αἰτουμένων. The definite object (wisdom) above spoken of is not here meant; for the particular thought is founded on a general declaration. By κύριος Christ is not to be understood, but, as in chap. Jam 4:10, Jam 5:4; Jam 5:10, according to O. T. usage, God.

The designation of God as the Lord naturally suggested itself to James, because he was here speaking of the power of God manifested in giving or not giving; it is not, as Lange thinks, chosen in order to characterize God as “Jehovah the living covenant-God, who has now fully manifested Himself in Christ.”

[53] The form λήμψεται, for which MS. authorities decide, is not classical Greek; the lonic form is λάμψομαι.Jam 1:7. μὴ γὰρ οἰέσθω, etc.: γὰρ almost in the sense of διὰ τοῦτο. The verb occurs very rarely, see John 21:25; Php 1:17. There is a ring of contempt in the passage at the idea of a man with halting faith expecting his prayer to be answered. ἄνθρωπος is used here in reference to men in general; ἀνήρ in the next verse is more specific; in this Epistle ἀνήρ occurs usually with some qualifying word.—τοῦ Κυρίου: obviously in reference to God the Father on account of the τοῦ διδ. Θεοῦ above.7. let not that man think …] Faith, undoubting faith, is then the condition of the prayer for wisdom, as of all other prayers, being heard and answered. Without it, the No excludes the Yes, which yet the man will not quite abandon.

of the Lord] It is a question whether the Divine Title is used in the Old Testament sense, for the Father, or, as generally, though not exclusively, in the New Testament, for the Son. On the whole, looking (1) to the meaning of the word in ch. James 5:7; James 5:14-15, (2) and to the frequent use of “God” and “the Father,” where Christ is not meant, there seems a balance of evidence in favour of the latter meaning. Christ also, not less than the Father, is thought of as giving or not giving, in answer to prayer. Possibly, however, the word was used without the thought of a distinction between the Divine Persons.Jam 1:7. Μὴ γὰρ οἰέσθω, for let not that man think) Faith does not entertain mere opinions.[6] He who thinks as the double-minded man (δίψυχος), thinks in vain.

[6] οἴεσθαι, as the Latin opinari, denotes the mere holding of an opinion or supposition, and expresses a condition of doubt as opposed to faith.—T.Verses 7, 8. - The A.V., which makes ver. 8 an independent sentence, is certainly wrong. Render, Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord, double-minded man that he is, unstable in all his ways. So Vulgate, Vir duplex animi, inconstans in omnibus viis. (The Clementine Vulgate, by reading est after inconstans, agrees with A.V.) Another possible rendering is that of the R.V. margin, "Let not that man think that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, shall receive," etc. But the rendering given above is better. Double-minded; δίψυχος occurs only here and in James 4:8 in the New Testament. It is not found in any earlier writer, and was perhaps coined by St. James to represent the idea of the Hebrew, "an heart and an heart (בְלֵב וָלֵב)" (1 Chronicles 12:33). It took root at once in the vocabulary of ecclesiastical writers, being found three times in Clement of Rome, and frequently in his younger contemporary Hermas. St. James's words are apparently alluded to in the Apost. Coust., VII. 11, Μὴ γίνου δίψυχος ἐν προσευχῇ σου εἰ ἔσται η} οὑ: and cf. Clem., 'Romans,' c. 23. The same thought is also found in Ecclus. 1:28, "Come not before him with a double heart (ἐν καρδίᾳ δίσοῃ)." Unstable; ἀκατάστατος, only here and (probably) James 3:8. That man (ἐκεῖνος)

Emphatic, and with a slightly contemptuous force.


i.e., which he asks for.

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