Go to now, you that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:…
Here James does three things.
1. He seems to guard against the absorbing influence of worldly business — against thorough devotedness to the work of "buying, and selling, and getting gain." And well he might, on the ground of the very truths which he here propounds. Besides that "the love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10). Accumulated wealth — what a poor and passing portion!
2. The apostle issues a solemn caution against confidence in the future. If, indeed, a man is to be active, energetic, and successful, in any part of his appointed work, he must calculate on future time. Bat to depend implicitly, whether on the prolongation of life, or on the attainment of wealth, is utterly unreasonable, as being what truth, and the actual condition of things, forbid — and eminently dangerous, as setting aside a powerful moral motive, fitted to be useful both to saints and sinners.
3. He prescribes a wiser way — inculcating a habitual sense of dependence on Divine Providence, and a devout recognition and acknowledgment of that Providence, with respect both to the events, and to the termination, of life.
(A. S. Patterson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: