1 Chronicles 4

1 Chronicles 4:9-10
4:9 Jabez
[a descendant of Judah (cf. 4:1); name sounds like the Hebrew word for pain; name means “hollow,” “depression,” or “he hurries”] was more honorable [heavy or weighty; conveys the idea of noteworthy or impressive; text does not tell us why] than his brothers. His mother had named [name represented one’s character] him Jabez [name insinuated “he causes pain”; to commemorate the great pain she experienced during childbirth], saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.”

4:10 Jabez [possibly motivated by the stigma of his name] cried out to the God of Israel [reminder that Israel lived in covenant with God], [note four specific requests] “Oh, that you would [1] bless [verb means “to bestow with the power for success”; prayer of surrender to all that God wanted to do for, in, and through him] me and [2] enlarge my territory [either geographical border or territory as a whole; a petition for more responsibility and influence; request for opportunity to have greater impact for God]! [3] Let your hand [cf. Ex. 15:6; Ps. 136:12; God’s hand strengthens and guides; cf. Ps. 73:23-24] be with me [a request for the power to accomplish a task and for God’s protection in difficult circumstances; a prayer of dependence on and confidence in God], and [4] keep me from harm [means evil, trouble, calamity, or a time of distress] so that I will be free from pain [either grief, physical suffering, or emotional distress].” And God granted his request [an indication that Jabez’s prayer pleased God].

Lessons from Jabez
• Whenever we are in pain we should turn to God in prayer, acknowledging our need for Him.
• We should not allow the painful things in life to keep us down but should use them as motivators for reaching higher and doing more.
• We ought to be courageous in our praying, making our hearts fully known to God.

For more on Jabez, please read When Life Pains You.

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