Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
James gives us a different perspective on the poor in these passages. James gives us a glimpse of how God looks at the poor in this world. James tells us that God has given them a special place in His plan of redemption for mankind. God has chosen the poor to be rich in faith. God has given them the blessings and the ability to advance the kingdom of God through the proclamation of the Gospel message. And by doing so they can build up for themselves treasures in Heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy. Treasures the rich cannot take away. Moreover, since God shows no partiality, neither should we His children show partiality between the rich and the poor. As followers of Jesus, we are called to help those in need, to take care of the widow, the childless and the poor. This means we are called to look out for and protect those who cannot protect themselves.
We are not to take advantage of them to gain more for ourselves. One of the false messages of the world today, is that God wants all people to be rich and to have more material wealth. That is just not Biblically true. Rather, God’s word, the Bible calls us to take our time, talents and resources and use those to spread the Gospel of Christ to a fallen world, help those in need and take care of our families and those who cannot help themselves. Therefore, we are to honor the poor as we honor God who saved us from the wrath to come by the blood of Jesus shed for us at the Cross of Calvary. Remembering when we seek after the rich and disregard the poor we are chasing after those things which are passing away. When we seek after material wealth and not the things of God, then we are chasing after a dying world, which is at enmity with God. Moreover, not only are we chasing after those things which are passing away at the end of this age, but we are doing so in direct rebellion against God. These passages are speaking about placing ourselves at enmity with God and making ourselves enemies of God, in order to gain riches falsely for ourselves.