16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
Even though in my study bible this is annotated separately from the previous passage, I believe it is a continuation or the “flip side” to what James previously said. In verse 13-15 James talked about temptation and sin: that it does not originate from God. In this passage, he talks about what is from God.
Light, gifts, giving, truth: which all lead to his audience being the “first fruits” of God’s creatures. Remember, this letter was written as a practical instruction to early Christians. Being that they were the first converts, it makes sense that he would refer to them as first fruits of God’s new covenant with man.
In reference to the Father of lights, I think of the age old saying “stay away from the light”. It’s funny looking at it from this aspect how that world view and mentality calls us to stay away from The Light, isn’t it? I say “go towards the light and never look back!” It’s pretty comforting to know that in death, we are actually looking forward to the outcome. Just as the apostle Paul said, “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.”
What do we do in regards to the light? Do we turn away in fear and uncertainty or do we believe that God has our best interests at heart? If the source of the Light is all that is pure and good in the world, why would we not want to draw near it? Which direction are you heading? Brothers and sisters, turn toward the light and keep running into it. Don’t forget your sunglasses.