Jabez and Pain
Why Was Jabez Honorable?
What caused Jabez to be more honorable? What was it within Jabez that gave him the strength to rise above the pain he must have suffered? Did he feel the love of his mother? Did he ever question that love? Somehow I think that Jabez turned to the Lord for the emotional fulfillment that he did not find in his family or home life. Jabez found comfort and trust in the God of Israel.
God looked into the heart of Jabez and saw an honest soul. He saw a man who wanted to prove to the world that he was not evil. Jabez came to God looking for something. He was like many of us. Relationships fail. Even family relationships fail. Sometimes there is nothing left but the love of God. What a mercy that God never fails us. When trouble comes it is wonderful to know that God will be there to offer assistance, give comfort, and direct our lives when we are confused.
Who Was Jabez?
I Chronicles 4: 9-10 NKJV
9 Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.
Jabez was born into the Tribe of Judah. His name appears in the middle of a long line of fathers and sons. There was nothing special about any of these men and yet, Jabez was different. His mother gave him a name that literally means, he will cause pain. Jabez must have known from his earliest years the meaning of his name. No doubt he was teased about having such a name. It is clear from these two verses of scripture that there was something special about Jabez. The writer stopped and made a note. Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.
This is the ancient location of the Tribe of Judah where Jabez lived.
The Requests of Jabez
There were four parts to the prayer Jabez prayed.
Increase his responsibility
God to stay close to him
Not cause pain or Be free from pain?
Psalms 91: 1-4; 9-10
1. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3.Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
9. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
What is meant when one asks for God’s blessing? Simply put, to ask for a blessing means you are asking God to show favor to your life. It also means you are asking God to endow you with a particular cherished thing or attribute.
Jabez wanted God’s blessing on his life. This is important because a person who walks in the shadow of God’s love and blessing has a changed life. By asking for God to bless his life, Jabez honored God and showed humility. He recognized the right of God to intervene in his life. When God blesses a person things go better for them. Their entire life is better. Jabez understood the value in the Psalms 91 passage.
God to Stay Close
14. “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16. With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”
Jabez did not want to be an evil person. All of his life he had been called a pain, or literally a person who caused pain. No doubt Jabez hated the very thought of causing pain to anyone or any thing. This desire to flee from pain caused him to seek comfort in the promises of God. Psalms 91 gives us a wonderful promise of how God views people who reject pain and call upon him. The promises of God are sure. You never have to worry about whether God will keep his word. People may fail you but God never fails.
(... and enlarge my territory)
What was it in Jabez that drove him to work harder? Jabez desired to be trusted with more responsibility. Perhaps it was not the size of the territory Jabez desired, but the amount of trust placed in him by God. Jabez wanted to serve God by serving the people around him. He needed to be trusted. Jabez had a very strange reaction to the rejection of his mother. Rather than dwelling on bitterness, Jabez chose to serve. He sought help from God to trust him and make him a person able to show love for others.
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Not Cause Pain or Be Free From Pain?
After reading many Bible versions of this scripture I discovered that there is a difference of opinion among the translators about what Jabez requested. The contemporary versions generally state that Jabez was asking not to be in pain. The King James Version and the NKJV agree on an opposing view that Jabez was asking not to cause pain to others. Interestingly enough the 21st Century KJV and Darby gave a slightly different twist to this verse. “...Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!"
One thing is certain in this discussion. Jabez was a man familiar with pain. We may never know whether Jabez was overwhelmed by the pain of rejection caused him by his mother or that his pain was so great he needed divine intervention to make certain that he never caused such pain to another soul. It is certain that Jabez determined in his soul to never be the cause of such anguish to anyone in his life! We know that he did not suffer after his talk with God. How do we know? Because the last line of the verse declared, “ And God granted him what he requested.”
Modern believers can learn a wonderful lesson from these two verses out of the Old Testament. Honesty and humility create favor with God. Having a burning desire never to be in pain or cause pain evokes God’s blessings. God loves you today as much as He loved Jabez.
Is Jabez a good example as a man of character and love for others?See results without voting
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