In the story of Jabez (1 Chronicles 4: 9 & 10) we see a man whose life was laden with misfortune. As a matter of fact, Jabez’s name means “sorrow, man of sorrow or pain.” Many of us have found ourselves in situations like brother Jabez. We are living in sorrowful conditions, every day we experience a level of pain and some of us are wondering when in the world will the misfortune end. I have learned over the years that the Lord will allow certain things to happen in our lives to bring about a change in our spirits. I declare to you reader today, that CHANGE is taking place now in your spirit and physical life.
Mr. Jabez must have been important for God to place the Spotlight on Him. The Lord singled him out of over 600 others for special recognition. Only two verses mention his name but we glean a lot from what was given. Here are a few observations from Jabez’s life.
Firstly, we denote that Jabez was a man of fervent prayer. His opening prayer reads as, “Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed…” which sounds like intimacy to me. His prayer chord was striking high and hot notes to the God of Israel. We can see that he knew to whom he was supplicating and precisely why he was praying. Jabez understood that the God of Israel was the source of all Blessings. This particular scripture also shows a man that was tired of living substandard and below average. He knew there was more to life and was not afraid to ask for. One of the reasons many Christians don’t get certain blessings is because they do not ask. Closed mouths do not get fed. James 4:2 says “Ye have not because ye ask not.” Here we see it is not wrong to ask God to bless us to live a prosperous and overcoming life.
Next we encounter Jabez asking God to enlarge his territory. Territory meaning coasts, boundaries or borders. I do not believe Jabez was just asking God for a big house on Million Dollar Row or at Princess Isles (yes it is possible for God to bless believers like that) but he was pleading with God to enlarge his field or territory of influence for him to be a greater witness and a testimony. Glory. Jabez wanted a larger metron or jurisdiction in order to influence people for the Glory and Kingdom of God. There is always more to be done. There are new fields of influence open up and are yours for the asking. I dare say, they are yours for the taking and possessing.
Jabez then asked the Lord to “let thine hand be with me”. When the Lord begins to elevate you and take you higher Satan gets rather upset. Here is the place now you need the divine and supernatural presence of God. This is where you have the ability to hide under the shadow of God’s wings.
Lastly, Mr. Jabez asked God to keep him from evil. This is so powerful. Jabez wanted to be kept. Some of us like to play games with the devil and want to be kept when it’s out of our control. But Jabez prayed to be kept. He wanted to be kept spiritually pure, morally right. He understood every advance you make in God, the devil will increase your opportunities to sin. The bigger your stakes in God, the greater the weapons Satan will use. Can I tell you today reader, God will grant you the strength to overcome temptation. This is important to note because temptation leads to sin and sin leads to death.
There is one character trait that Jabez had that is worthy of mention even in his painful and sorrowful state. The Bible calls Jabez more “Honourable” than all his brethren. To honor means to bow, to worship, personal integrity, esteem/respect, high or noble rank, to pay due or to confer distinction upon. Honor means uprightness, one marked by dedication to God.
Now, God is no respector of persons (Acts 10:34) so how then does Jabez get more honorable than his brethren? Honor here speaks of Jabez’s character and disposition even in painful and difficult times. He would still worship. He would not allow the enemy to bend him out of shape instead he would use the challenge as fuel to bow before the Lord. Please note, honorable men are remembered long after others are forgotten. Jabez maintained integrity even in adversity. Everyone has equal access to God’s favor and blessings but we all worship Him at different levels of intensity. Jeremiah 29:13 says “And ye shall seek me and find me when ye search for me with ALL your heart.” We must seek God now with everything on the inside and as Paul says, PRESS towards the mark for the prize of the high calling in Jesus Christ (Phil 3:14).
The Bible says the Lord granted Jabez what he requested. May God grant your petitions and request before His throne in this month in Jesus’ mighty name.