1 Chronicles 4:9-10
Undoubtedly everyone has heard the story of Jabez. There have been countless sermons, articles, opinions stated, and books covering the topic of the prayer of Jabez. I am not wanting to add to that list but as I was researching for a sermon out of the book of 1 Chronicles, I landed upon this passage of scripture.
Verse 9 starts off by saying that Jabez was more honorable than his brethren. The scripture does not tell us anything more about why he was more honorable or for what reason. Theologians can only speculate and assume as to what manner of man he was. The one thing for sure that we know is that he was held in high regard due to the phrase “more honorable.” The second part of verse 9 tells how he got his name, Jabez. You can look back at Genesis 3:16, “in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.” Again, we do not truly know why this is mentioned, we can only speculate.
But let us look at the main theme to this scripture in verse ten.
We are not told anything remarkable about Jabez other than that he prayed. Jabez is remembered for a prayer, not anything heroic as others in the Bible. The only way for anyone to be truly great is by seeking God's will, and to do that one must pray earnestly and fervently.
Jabez did not pray to a Gentile deity, he prayed to the only one who can hear and answer prayer, and in his prayer, he only asked for four things.
In his first petition:
“Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed.”
Just as Jacob wrestled with the angel to be blessed, there is persistence in Jabez's prayer.
God does bless and will bless those that are in Him.
Was Jabez content with his spirituality? Was he recognizing what was more important for him than possessions? Was he searching for just a closer walk with thee?
In his second petition:
“And enlarge my coast.”
We do not know if Jabez was asking that God multiply his land. Maybe he was asking for God's help in caring for all that he had, not just worldly possessions but for spiritual growth. Maybe he wanted to go beyond the meaning of his name, sorrow. Maybe he wanted to get out of his comfort zone like so many Christians today are in. Or maybe, he wanted to go farther than just in his local area with his prayer.
In his third petition:
“And that thine hand might be with me.”
Our own hands are not able to do or care for ourselves, so Jabez is asking for God, the hand that made him, to guide him. God is with us in every situation, every trial, in every circumstance. He is there to guide us, protect us, and to love us. He has us in His hands which no one can remove us from. (Psalm 119:173, Psalm 139:5; Isaiah 42:6; John 10:28)
In his fourth petition:
“And that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me.”
This is very similar to a portion of the prayer taught by Jesus in Matthew 6. Here Jabez is asking for deliverance from any evil presence. (Matthew 26:41, Colossians 4:2, Matthew 6:13)
The end of the verse:
“And God granted him that which he requested.”
We do not know the specifics of the outcome of the prayer, only that God did grant his prayer. 1 John 5:14, 1 Chronicles 16:11, Psalm 145:18, Matthew 6:33)
Jabez recognized God as the genuine focus. He asked explicitly to be shielded from evil and calamity. At the point when we appeal to God for God's favoring, we ought to likewise ask that God will take His sovereign position as Lord over all parts of our lives. We live in a fallen world where sin proliferates, and it is imperative to request that God guard us from any unavoidable wickedness that comes our direction. We should likewise maintain a strategic distance from wrongful thought processes, wants, and activities that start inside us. We should look for God's protection from demonic forces, yet in addition request that God watch over our minds and activities. (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Philippians 4:6, Matthew 7:7-8, Hebrews 4:16)
God style me into your flawlessness. Take complete charge of me and all I am made of. Secure me against all and each sort of detestable or wrongdoing so that I may not wander off-track yet follow you always.
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