Draw near to God (Jas 4:8)

“Draw near

To God!

He will draw near

To you.

Cleanse your hands!

You sinners!

Purify your hearts!

You double-minded!”

ἐγγίσατε τῷ Θεῷ, καὶ ἐγγισεῖ ὑμῖν. καθαρίσατε χεῖρας, ἁμαρτωλοί, καὶ ἁγνίσατε καρδίας, δίψυχοι.

James said, “Draw near (ἐγγίσατε) to God (τῷ Θεῷ)!  He will draw near (καὶ ἐγγισεῖ) to you (ὑμῖν).  Cleanse (καθαρίσατε) your hands (χεῖρας)!  You sinners (ἁμαρτωλοί)!  Purify (καὶ ἁγνίσατε) your hearts (καρδίας)!  You double-minded (δίψυχοι)!”  This is the only time that this word appears in the NT writings, here in the Letter of James, δίψυχοι, that means of two minds, wavering, or double-minded.  James had this wonderful saying that resonates so well today.  If you draw near to God, he will draw near to you.  However, there were some stipulations and warnings.  James went into a diatribe against his Jewish Christian readers.  They were sinners with dirty hands.  They had to purify their hearts.  This imagery is from Psalm 24:3-4, “Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, those who do not lift up their soul to what is false, those who do not swear deceitfully” were the people who could enter the Temple.  However, his readers were double-minded, wishy-washy doubters who could not make up their minds.  The answer was simple.  Draw near to God.  Do not be a sinner with dirty hands and an impure heart.  Otherwise, they would never get near to God because of their lack of a strong faith.  Do you try to draw near to God?

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