Jacob 2:11 -2:15
Jacob 2:11 Wherefore, I must tell you the truth according to the plainness of the word of God. For behold, as I inquired of the Lord, thus came the word unto me, saying: Jacob, get thou up into the temple on the morrow, and declare the word which I shall give thee unto this people.
The subject of his sermon was given to him as he prayed to the Lord to know what he shall give the people. The Lord said that it would be given to him when he arrived at the Temple in the morning.
Jacob 2:12 And now behold, my brethren, this is the word which I declare unto you, that many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of precious ores, in the which this land, which is a land of promise unto you and to your seed, doth abound most plentifully.
To start of with, he is condemning them for their pre-occupation with looking for gold, silver and all other things which they consider valuable. This is the land of promise and this stuff is all over the place.
Jacob 2:13 And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they.
And because many of them have been more engrossed in searching for this stuff, some have gotten more of it than others. The effect on these folks is that they think that their accumulation makes them better than others who have not done as well or who have not even looked for it. They have used their wealth for fashion and personal decoration which they consider as a status symbol and therefore a measure their personal worth.
Jacob 2:14 And now, my brethren, do ye suppose that God justifieth you in this thing? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. But he condemneth you, and if ye persist in these things his judgments must speedily come unto you.
Jacob asks them if they really think that the Lord is pleased with this kind of display. Is one's personal worth determined by what clothes they wear? They, obviously are not. So how long do they think the Lord will tolerate such thinking that the better dressed are better than their poorer fellows.
Jacob 2:15 O that he would show you that he can pierce you, and with one glance of his eye he can smite you to the dust!
Jacob points out that if they were to be in the Lord’s presence for just a second, they would self-judge themselves instantly. They would see their own degraded condition and would want to be somewhere else at that moment.