The Prayer of Jabez - Part I
I Chronicles 4:9-10 – “And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bore him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.”
THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING the birth of Jabez were anything but stellar. When one looks at his life, his very name means “he makes me to sorrow,” which means that his mother could not properly care for him, or else, she did not want him. Either way, just by the very meaning of his name, those circumstances would follow him for the rest of his existence. This could have destroyed Jabez, but thankfully, he refused to let life’s events dictate his outcome, but he would allow these events to turn him toward the Lord, for it was only the Lord who could change that curse and turn it into a blessing. Many times, the uncertainty of life will bring about situations that would cause us to run away from the Lord, but if we apply that which we read in the life of Jabez and allow the events of our lives to bring us closer to the Lord, then He can turn those negatives into a positive. I like to say it like this: only God can take our wrong, put it into His right, and make everything alright.
AND JABEZ CALLED ON THE GOD OF ISRAEL
The Bible declares that “Jabez was more honorable than his brethren.” The reason the Holy Spirit made this statement is that Jabez did what we all should do in the time of adversity — he called on the God of Israel. That word called simply means “to proclaim or praise the excellency of Yahweh, to worship Yahweh, or to summon Yahweh by name for help.” When faced with adverse circumstances, much of the world calls on a bottle or looks for a pill to suspend reality. However, as a believer, we have the privilege of calling on the God of Israel, for when we call on God, we are guaranteed to never get a busy signal, and He will never turn a blind eye to our request. In fact, God is waiting for us to call upon Him in the time of distress, for He will not only give us an answer, but He is the answer, and He is the only One who can turn our curse into a blessing. To call upon the Lord also means to put our complete trust in Him and to put our problems into the hands of the Lord.
BLESS ME INDEED
His first request that he would bring unto the Lord is a most important statement, “Bless me indeed.” God wants to bless His children, for He is a blessing God. The word blessing means “increase.” That very word states that God wants to give us more than what we can even ask or think. We are His children, and as a father naturally wants to give gifts unto his kids, how much more does our heavenly Father want to bless us. In fact, God wants to give us everything that pertains to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3), which is tremendous blessing to us as His children.
When I was studying this passage, I started to look at that word blessings, and I would like to take this opportunity to present seven synonyms for blessing that can be tied back to the Cross of Christ, which is the greatest blessing of all. They are as follows:
Favor: due to the Cross of Christ and our faith in that finished work, we now have favor with God.
Grace: This is one of the greatest blessings of all, which is God’s goodness given to undeserving people. We did not deserve this, but due to the Cross, His grace now flows to us.
Approval: Once again, as we look to the Cross of Christ, we now have the approval of God. Many look for approval from others, but when one has the approval of God, one cannot get any better than that.
Windfall: How awesome is this! As God has blessed His Son, Jesus Christ, we have the residual windfall that came upon Christ and now comes to us.
Gift: the greatest gift that God could give the world was His Son, Jesus Christ, and the greatest gift that we could ever receive is the gift of salvation.
Benefit: We, as believers, experience the benefits of the Cross, which are many. Healing is a benefit, as well as the baptism with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues. In fact, we can honestly say that everything we receive from the Lord is a benefit of the Cross of Christ.
Advantage: we have the greatest advantage of anyone else in the world, for we have the ability to call on God for whatever we need, and that is due to what Christ has accomplished for us at Calvary’s Cross.
WHAT DO GOD’S BLESSINGS CONSIST OF?
To look at that of which the blessings of God consist, we need look no further than what is referred to as the chapter of blessing, Deuteronomy, Chapter 28. This chapter gives us an explanation of what the Lord will do for those who keep the Lord’s statutes and His commandments. This we cannot do based upon ourselves, but we can keep these statutes and commandments if our faith is anchored in Christ and Him crucified. The reason is that He, Christ, kept those commandments and statutes perfectly, and since I am in Christ, I am now a law keeper and not a lawbreaker. As a result, we are guaranteed the following:
“All these blessings shall come upon you,” which means that the blessings of the Lord will literally chase you down and overtake you.
“The Lord shall command the blessings upon you,” which means that at this moment, if we will only believe it, the Lord is commanding blessings upon us. We must believe it, expect it, and receive it.
“The Lord shall make you plenteous in goods.” The Lord promises plenty, and the word goods means “everything that we need,” He will supply.
“The Lord shall open unto us His good treasure.” The Lord tells us that we as believers literally have access to the treasure house of heaven.
“And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail.” There is an old statement that says that if you are not the lead dog, the view never changes. The Lord wants to make us the lead dog. The only thing we must do is seek His kingdom first and His righteousness, and these things will be added unto us.
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