The Prayer of Jabez
Jabez’s Prayer interposed the Genealogies, which is revelatory – 1Chronicles 4:9-10 is called the “the Prayer of Jabez” – 1Chronicles 4:9-10 “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘because I bore him in pain.’ 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” (NKJV). 1Chronicles 4:9-10 reveals the birth and the journey of Jabez who has the faith to ask God for blessings:
His Name – Jabez
1Chronicles 4:9b “His mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘because I bore him in pain.’” The inauspicious name, Jabez (“he gives pain”) is given to him by his mother, because it is more than the normal birth-pain, as it also involves his “painful-period” of growing up; which he overcomes – 1Chronicles 4:9a “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.” Just what causes Jabez’s mother somber reaction is not known. Whatever the cause of her grief, her gloomy reaction in giving him this name, “Jabez,” destined the son throughout his life to be the symbol of her sorrow; but how does Jabez reverse such inauspicious position??
1Chronicles 4:10a “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!’ More space is given to the Prayer of Jabez than to his achievement of outstanding honor. Jabez Prayer is one of the most comprehensive in the Bible, and shines forth like a brilliant star in the midst of a Genealogical Catalogue of Names; it is his Prayer that makes him so outstanding:
- To Whom He Prays
Jabez Prays to the God of Israel – 1Chronicles 4:10a “And Jabez called on the God of Israel.” Jabez knows that “the God of Israel” has entered into Covenant Relationship with the Nation of Israel. The LORD (Jehovah) had chosen the children of Israel as His Special People (Exodus 19:5-6) and has given them special privileges. Jabez, being a Member of the Covenantal Nation, he calls upon “the God of Israel” in full assurance of faith that he would receive an audience with his God. We too can call upon God our Father through His Son, Jesus, with full confidence because of our relationship with God our Father through the New Covenant established in Jesus Christ. In addition, the term “God of Israel” could also be understood in two ways:
- Israel, the Man – The reference is to Jacob (Supplanter = Deceiver) who becomes Israel; Jabez knows the story of Jacob and his transformation under the mercy and grace of God. Jacob, the Supplanter becomes Israel, ruling with God (Genesis 32:24-28); thus, Jabez could pray in confident, with the expected outcome.
- Israel, the Nation – Jabez knows what God has done for the Nation of Israel – God has redeemed the Nation of Israel from the Egyptian bondage (Exodus 12) and provides and preserves the Nation of Israel in the Wilderness Journey; established the Nation of Israel and settled the Nation of Israel in the Promised Land; thus, Jabez is able to approach God with complete confident.
To be continued….. Stay Tuned…..