In this chapter the apostle gives the true cause of contentions and
strifes; and cautions against intemperance, covetousness, pride,
detraction, and vain confidence. Having, in the latter part of the
preceding chapter, inveighed against strife and contention, he here
shows from whence they spring, from a covetous desire of riches and
honour; and which yet are not obtained, because they did not ask
these things of God with submission to his will; or they asked with a
wrong view, namely, to gratify their lusts, \\#Jas 4:1,3\\ and he
dissuades from such unlawful desires, partly because they were no
other than adultery; and partly because indulging them was declaring
themselves enemies of God, \\#Jas 4:4\\ and he deters from pride,
under the name of envy, proud men being generally envious; from the
sense of the Scripture, which says, not in vain, that the spirit
lusts unto it; and from the consequence of it, such as are proud
being resisted by the Lord, when he gives more grace to humble ones,
\\#Jas 4:5,6\\ hence follow several exhortations, and various duties
relating to humility; as to submit to God, and resist the devil,
encouraged thereunto by this motive, he will flee, \\#Jas 4:7\\, to
draw nigh to God in a way of religious worship, who will draw nigh in
a way of grace to his people; to purity of action, and of heart, or
to that which is outward and inward, \\#Jas 4:8\\ to be humbled,
mourn, and weep, instead of joy and laughter, \\#Jas 4:9\\ to lie low
before the Lord, who will raise such up, \\#Jas 4:10\\ and not to
speak evil of anyone, since this is judging a brother; nay, a
speaking evil of the law, and a judging of that; which is to invade
the prerogative of God, the lawgiver, who is able to save, and to
destroy; and therefore one man should not take upon him to judge
another, \\#Jas 4:11,12\\ and as another instance of great neglect
of God, and his providence, and disrespect unto it, the apostle takes
notice of a common practice among men, and even professors of
religion, who resolve to go to such a place, and continue so long,
and there make merchandise, and promise themselves success; not
considering what frail short lived creatures they are, and how much
all depends upon the will of God; and which they should consider,
submit to, and be determined by, \\#Jas 4:13-15\\ and he reproves
them for their boastings and joy in them, as evil, \\#Jas 4:16\\, and
observes, that it is not enough to know what is right and good,
unless it is done; and that such knowledge is but an aggravation of
the evil of sin committed, \\#Jas 4:17\\.