In The Bible Today; 1 Chronicles 4
Understanding The Bible
The Bible is a timeless text of perennial wisdom. It tells us not only of God and mankind, but it also guides us on our path as spiritual beings in human bodies.
Though the Bible sometimes seems inapproachable and complex, these studies are designed to make the Bible accessible to everyone and applicable to everyday life.
This study uses the SOAP technique: Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer. As you read through and study the bible, and a verse sticks out to you, write it down. Then write down your personal observations regarding the scripture, along with historical notations and any other pertinent information. After you make a thorough observation of the scripture, meditate on how you might apply the lesson learned to your own life. How can you use this particular verse to improve your life or make your spiritual journey better? Finally, write out a prayer to God, as you think about the scripture.
This technique will help you find more meaning from your study of scripture, and will help deepen your walk along a spiritual path.
1 Chronicles 4:9,10: "9. And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. 10. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested." King James Bible
1 Chronicles 4: 9,10: "9. Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, 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." New International Version
1 Chronicles 4: 9,10: "9. Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; but his mother named him Jabez, saying, 'Because I gave birth to him in pain.' 10. Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would indeed bless me and enlarge my border [property], and that Your hand would be with me, and You would keep me from evil so that it does not hurt me!” And God granted his request." Amplified Bible
Observation: The prayer of Jabez. Books have been written about this simple prayer. Years ago, a movement began within some christian circles, to pray the prayer of Jabez, to see increase. Increase in wealth, in spirituality, in blessing.
Jabez had a vision for his life. First, he asked God to bless him. We all want to be blessed, but how often do we remember to ask God to bless our lives? Second, Jabez asked God to increase his territory. An increase in territory would mean an increase in responsibility. When God sees that you are faithful in taking care of what you have, he will give you more. Third, Jabez asked God to let His hand be with him. Jabez realized that he needed the hand of God over his life. Fourth, Jabez asked God to protect him from harm. He sought out God's protection.
Most small people never get beyond their smallness. They don't ask for bigger and better things in life, because they cannot envision their lives outside the bounds of the smallness of what is. Their vision is limited to the daily grind of survival, never venturing into the realm of greatness, they are limited by the constraints they impose upon their own lives.
Jabez envisioned something greater for his life, holding on to that vision, he boldly approached the throne of God. And God granted his request.
The Prayer of Jabez
Application: God has a vision for each of us. Unfortunately, we usually get so caught up in the minutiae of daily life that we cannot see beyond the requirements of today.
Our fear holds us back and we wallow in self pity along the edges of 'what if' cliff. What if I can't? What if it doesn't work out? What if I fail? We lose sight of the Greatness of God, because we are immersed in our own smallness.
Jabez did not ask what if. He asked God to increase his territory. When God calls us to a task, he fully equips us to accomplish the work. If we are ready to live boldly, and we ask God to increase our territory, he will provide what we need to succeed. We need to be bold enough to approach God with confidence and ask to fulfill the destiny that he has placed within us.
When we ask God to bless and increase us, and to protect us, He is faithful to bring exactly what we need. Today, be bold, and approach the throne of God with confidence and certainty.
Prayer: Lord, today free me from fear, and from the smallness that has defined my life. Enable me to boldly step into the greatness for which I was created.
You, God, know how great my life can be, and you know that I am created for a bigger purpose. Strengthen me today to have the courage to boldly walk in who I truly am, and to seek your blessing in every area of my life.
Lord, please give me the grace to be who you are calling me to, and the courage to speak the words you place on my heart. Bless me, enlarge my territory, and protect me from harm.