Archive for May 28th, 2012

1 Chronicles 4

1 Chronicles 4 continues the list of lineage but buried in the middle of the chapter is a couple verses that jump out and shout ‘pay attention’.  Verse 9 tells us “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain”.  There is a very long list of people mentioned here, and then Jabez comes along.  For some reason the writer here stops and calls him as at more honorable – as one who was different than the rest of the names on the list.  He obviously was a pain during birth – thus his mother named him such.  But there is much more as we learn in the next verse.

Jabez called upon the God of Israel”.  Jabez knows who God is, and he knows that God is the source of all good things.  There is an obvious relationship there – which is probably the first part of this relationship.  Jabez called upon God – that was a key part of what makes him more honorable.  He has God in His right place and is reaching out to bring His action.

So what does Jabez ask?  Check out the four things he requests:

–       “Oh that you would bless me

–       enlarge my border

–       that your hand might be with me

–       that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!”

Jabez asks God to bless him, and in some translations it says bless me indeed.  Jabez is asking for big action – not just a simple little request.  We need to seek God’s hand fully – and ask Him to do the things that seem too much because they are way too much for us.  He continues and secondly asks for his territory to be expanded.  Jabez wants God to give him more influence, more ability to get outside the boundaries he has been accustomed to.  Jabez wants to do far more.

Third Jabez asks that God’s hand be with him, that God put his hand on Jabez’ shoulder.  Jabez doesn’t want to walk alone.  He wants God to be with him every step of the way.  And finally Jabez asks that he would not make mistakes and cause pain.  Jabez wants God’s direction and protection that he might walk in way worthy of the Lord.  Jabez wants God’s hedge around him so he can walk well.  So what happens?  Scripture tells us very clearly.  “And God granted what he asked”.  So what’s the big deal – what is so honorable?  A man who wants to walk well with God, who prays and asks God to act, and who receives God’s answer and blessing.  Jabez shows us what being a man walking with God should look like.  Dependence on the Father through prayer that leads us to live His way.  Are you praying like Jabez?  Do you want to be more honorable than the rest?  

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