|Photo By Amelia Grace Photography|
by Lori Kennedy
“Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." 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.” (1 Chronicles 4:9, 10)
the prayer of Jabez has been equated with financial blessing. However, there are some powerful “non”
financial truths that apply to this prayer.
There are 149 verses of genealogy before and 261 verses afterward. This prayer was hidden in scriptures. It makes sense to ask why.
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. During this time in history, people were recognized by their family genealogy. The culture rules were that the conduct and honor of your family line directly indicated what was to be anticipated from your own conduct and honor. If there were scoundrels in your past, then it was assumed you could not be trusted. If you had heroes in your past, then you were automatically thought to be a hero.
The name Jabez means I gave birth to him in pain. Parents expressed their aspirations in their children’s names. Names were significant in these times and in this culture. A person was considered to be marked for life by their name. It reflected their expected destiny. It was customary to step into the role of your name and to play out the role you had been given. Jabez did not want to live up to his name. Instead, Jabez wanted a dynamic encounter with a great God that would change his life forever. He wanted to break free from the dysfunction and circumstances and transform his future.
First, Jabez asked for a blessing. James 1:17 (NIV) “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” God WANTS to bless his children! He then asked God to enlarge his territory. Or for us, increase our sphere of influence. Next Jabez asked that God keep his hand with him. This is a practical request not to step back into the dysfunction. Jabez asked to be kept from harm. In other words, may I trust You and follow You and not become dependant on myself, knowing all blessing is from you and not of myself. Finally, Jabez asked to be free from pain. This is powerful as this was his name and he was asking to be freed from his name and the destiny that man had assigned to him. How many times in the bible was a person given a new name? II Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) states “For you are a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.”
Jabez had great faith. God responds to Jabez’s faith and answers his prayer. Jabez took the remarkable step to put faith in God to fulfill his destiny in a different way which was totally unacceptable in this time and culture. Something about this average person touched the God of the Universe. In a world where everyone becomes what was expected and lived out their predetermined path, Jabez had the courage to take a different road. He was set apart because he was truly seeking God’s will for his life.
I challenge you today to be a Jabez! Get out of your dysfunction and into God’s will by overcoming and having the faith to fulfill His purpose and destiny for your life!