Jabez: What does it mean to be one?

April 3, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

JabezWhen we read through the Bible, we’re inclined to skip the first 9 chapters of I Chronicles because they’re just lists of names.
But here and there we can find interesting nuggets of information.

The two verses about Jabez are a case in point ( 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 ).
The chronicler paused to tell us that this man was more honorable than his brothers (v.9).

Why was he so honorable?
We don’t know for sure, but we can find some clues in his name and in a short prayer he uttered.

Oh, that You would bless me ….. and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain! (I Chro. 4:10).

The name Jabez means “he causes pain.”  Who would want a name like that?
His mother may have given him that name because of the intense suffering she experienced at his birth.

JabezInstead of being bitter, or changing his name to something like “love” or “peace,” Jabez turned to the Lord.

He asked God to bless his life (v.10).
Bible scholars have translated the last part of verse 10 either as a prayer to be kept from pain or as a plea for help so he would not cause pain to others.

We believe Jabez was honorable because he pleaded with the Lord to help him live righteously so he would not cause others to suffer.

About Jabez’s character, we learn he had more honor than his brothers did.
Regarding his relationship with God, it is learned that he desired to be close to God.

He also wanted the help of the Lord to stand against the evils of the world.
Every difficulty in the life of any person who knows the Lord, irrespective of its severity, can be turned into a blessing.
God specializes in turning the curse into a blessing.

JabezRegrettably, too many individuals grow embittered, blaming others and even God for their circumstances.

Thus, their circumstances only grow worse.

There is another way, and the 10th verse tells us what it is:

And Jebez called on the God of Israel. This is man’s answer for any and all problems.

There is no other.  Regrettably, many turns to humanistic psychology, the latest fad, or even to the New Age movement.

The answer, and, in fact, the only answer, is that of which Jabez availed himself. He made five requests:

1. Bless me indeed.
2.  Enlarge my coast.
3.  Let your hand be with me.
4.  Keep me from evil.
5.  Keep me from grief.

God heard Jabez, and we have all the right in the world to believe that He will also hear all others who pray like wise from the heart, for He is no respecter of persons (Rom.2:11).

There is some indication that the city Jabez in Judah was named after him in (I Chro. 2:55).

No matter what your name is, you too can be a person of honor. Ask the Lord to bless you and to make you a blessing to others today.

– fwd: vc mathews

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