There are those who skip over reading or at best speed read through the books of Chronicles and miss some of the most profound revelations that are in scripture. One such illustration we have before us is Jabez, of which much has been written by ancient and contemporary Bible teachers. Two verses, nine and ten, are like apples of gold in settings of silver, provided we take the time to meditate and allow the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to His truth.
Even though we have read of the genealogy of Judah previously, this provides more specifics; in particular about Jabez.
We learn from these brief scriptures that Jabez had been born at physical risk to his mother and himself, to the degree his mother wanted him to remember his escaping a stark calamity early in life; therefore naming him Jabez, because she had bore Jabez in pain. Even with such an inauspicious start in life, we read he was “more honorable than his brothers”; which was due to his prayer life and what some scholars have said he did as a result of God granting “him what he requested.”
Jabez’s honor was due in large part because of his heart to be a blessing, be kept from sinning and not cause himself or anyone he knew pain. He did ask the Lord to “bless” him so that his territory would be “enlarged”, or his sphere of influence would be made larger. When our motive is right, God will respond with an unequivocal YES to our prayers. There are scholars who say that Jabez began a school of discipleship; training of those who desired to draw closer to the Lord and walk in His ways.
He wanted the hand of the Lord on his life. Today we might say he asked for the touch or anointing of God upon his life. It’s the anointing that breaks the yoke that would keep people from the liberty and freedom that come from living and serving the Lord.
Jabez also desired to be free from sin or “evil” that would cause pain either in his life or the lives of others. Apart from revelation, what motivated him to not cause pain as a result from sin we don’t have record. However it seems to be the chief characteristic of his life, thinking of others and putting them first.
It would seem what made Jabez “more honorable than his brothers” was his passion for other people; to keep them free from any hurt he could have imposed on them as well as desiring to see their territory enlarged as God did for him.
The final words of verse ten are encouraging words for each of us who pray and intercede; “So God granted him what he requested.” God is no respecter of people, what He did for and with Jabez He is willing to do for you and me. The key, we first must be willing to pray. Pray effectually as did this man of God who didn’t have understanding and revelation as we have with the New Testament.
God will answer your prayers too!