by Ami Hendrickson
Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my border! May your hand be with me, and may you keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!”
God granted him that which he requested.
1 Chronicles 4:10
1 Chronicles contains a detailed genealogy of relevance to Israel and Judah, beginning with Adam. For this reason, the book can be quite daunting to read. All those names of people for whom we have no frame of reference!
Sure, we know about Methuselah and Noah (1 Chron. 1:3-4). We remember the stories of Abraham, Isaac (1 Chron. 1:34) and Joseph (1 Chron 2:2). But the overwhelming majority of the people mentioned in the first few chapters of 1 Chronicles are strangers to us.
Then, in the midst of the roll call, a beautiful portrait of a believer emerges. For two short verses, we meet Jabez. According to his mother, he was born in sorrow, but he overcame his sad start in life to become “more honorable than his brothers” (1 Chron. 4:9).
Jabez’s prayer – today’s verse – is the only record we have of him. But what a testimony to his faith!
This man, born in sorrow, prays for good things to happen, not only to him and his family but to those with whom he comes in contact. His prayer is simple and heartfelt:
Bless me. Please send me challenges and success. Stay with me. Keep me from evil.
Jabez’s heartfelt prayer alone tells us much about his character.
But we have the bonus of learning how his story ended: God granted his request!
Thank You for hearing my prayers.
I am eternally grateful for the blessings You give me.
In Jesus’ Holy Name, I pray, Amen.