A bold prayer by Jabez

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September 18, 2022

This week we started the book of Chronicles. This book was thought to be written by Ezra. It is a chronicle of the Kings of Judah (from the southern territory). There is a small section that focuses on king Saul, but the majority of the book discussed King David.

The beginning of the book is genealogy from Adam through the kings of Judah. In Chapter 4 there is a pause from this genealogy and a prayer from a man named Jabez. This is going to be the focus of our discussion today.

Here is the scripture from 1 Chronicles 9-10.

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez,[c] saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.”

The preceding text talks about different genealogy, and then Jabez and his prayer are mentioned. He must have really been important for him to be mentioned so specifically.

The name Jabez means “to grieve,” or “he makes sorrowful.” In this day the Jewish tradition was to name the child after someone or something meaningful at their birth. Obviously, something was very painful, sorrowful, or difficult at the time of Jabez birth because 8 days later when he was circumcised and named, his mother said that “I gave birth to him in pain” so will name him Jabez.

Even with a difficult start, Jabez was more honorable than is brothers.  What a great compliment this is to someone. He was a man of honor and respect. Why was this important? Because he was an overcomer. He lived with being reminded of the sorrow he caused, but this did not bring him down. He overcame that and became a better man than his brothers.

Jabez was a man of prayer. He did not call out to the many secular gods that others were praying. He prayed to the God of Israel. He doesn’t just ask God, but cries out to him. According to the Lexicon, this means “to cry out in a loud voice” or “to cry for help.”

He asks God for 4 things:

  1. God’s blessing: he wanted God’s divine favor on him. This could be spiritually or in some other way.
  2. An enlargement in territory: he wanted an increase in his border or land.
  3. God’s hand to be with him: the word in Hebrew for hand means strength or direction. Jabez wanted God to give him strength and provide direction in his life. He wanted God’s plan for his life.
  4. To keep him from harm so that he would be free from pain: the word in Hebrew for harm means evil, trouble, or calamity. The word for pain is grief or distress. Jabez was praying for protection from evil and to deep him free from whatever would cause him grief or distress. This is interesting because his name means grief. So, he was praying for protection against whatever caused him to be named Jabez in the first place.

Verse 10 then says that God answered the pray.

Jabez came boldly to the throne of God and asked God for his needs. And God not only answered the prayer, but he answered with a yes. God heard Jabez’s prayers, and he hears your prayers too.

Let’s prayer this prayer together for ourselves in terminology from today.

Lord, I pray your blessing over me and my family. I pray that you will increase my territory. Lord, give me your strength and direction in my life. Let me hear from you. Lord, keep me from evil and sorrow.

Please let me know if you have other prayer requests. I would be happy to pray.

Next week we will read 1 Chronicles. 20-29. Have a blessed week.

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