Summary: Instead of being bitter, or changing his name to something like "love" or "peace," Jabez turned to the Lord. He asked God to bless his life indeed. Let us boldly ask God for His blessings in an extraordinary empowering and enabling way.
How the Holy Spirit Can Lead You as He Led Jabez (I Chron. 4:9,10)
Illustration: Oh, that You would bless me . . . and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain! –1 Chronicles 4:10
When we read through the Bible, we’re inclined to skip the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles because they’re just lists of names. But here and there we can find interesting nuggets of information. The two verses about Jabez are a case in point (4:9-10).
The chronicler paused to tell us that this man was "more honorable than his brothers" (v.9). Why was he so honorable? We don’t know for sure, but we can find some clues in his name and in a short prayer he uttered.
The name Jabez means "he causes pain." Who would want a name like that? His mother may have given him that name because of the intense suffering she experienced at his birth.
Instead of being bitter, or changing his name to something like "love" or "peace," Jabez turned to the Lord. He asked God to bless his life (v.10). Bible scholars have translated the last part of verse 10 either as a prayer to be kept from pain or as a plea for help so he would not cause pain to others. I believe Jabez was honorable because he pleaded with the Lord to help him live righteously so he would not cause others to suffer.
No matter what your name is, you too can be a person of honor. Ask the Lord to bless you and to make you a blessing to others today. –DCE
Make me a blessing, make me a blessing!
Out of my life may Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today. –Wilson
© Renewal 1952 The Rodeheaver Company
God blesses us so that we will bless others. (Our Daily Bread)
1. The Holy Spirit used Jabez by leading him to overcome a painful background. Jabez’s mother gave birth to him with great pain, yet the Spirit of God allowed him to become a man of great honor. Many assumed that Jabez’s birth meant he must have something to be ashamed about. Samuel wrote, "Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, ‘I have given birth to him in pain.’" (I Chron. 4:9) Ask the Lord to help you overcome any pain, problem or disappointment in your background with the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
2. The Holy Spirit used Jabez’s faith, courage and persistence to ask God for a "blessing indeed". Samuel wrote, "Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me indeed.’" (I Chron 4:10) Ask the Lord to help you approach God’s throne of grace with greater faith, courage and persistence to ask God for ‘blessings indeed’ instead of just merely for daily needs.
3. The Holy Spirit used Jabez by helping him endure the taunts of jealous brothers. Samuel wrote, "Jabez was more honorable than his brothers." (I Chron 4:9) Ask the Lord to help you to avoid giving into feelings of anger, frustration or discouragement when those who are closest to you cynically taunt you and your efforts to live an honorable life.
4. The Holy Spirit used Jabez by teaching him how to trust God for greater responsibilities. Samuel wrote, "Jabez cried out to God, "Oh, that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory." (I Chron. 4:10) Ask the Lord to help you to obtain all the skill, wisdom and energy necessary to increase your ministry responsibilities for the sake of His kingdom and righteousness.
5. The Holy Spirit used Jabez by guiding him to ask for God’s hand of blessing and assurance. Samuel wrote, "Let your hand be with me." (I Chron. 4:10) When people of the Old Testament asked God for His hand to be with them, they were invoking God’s visible demonstration of His blessings and assurance. Ask the Lord to visibly display His blessings on your personal life, relationships and ministries.
6. The Holy Spirit used Jabez by urging him to go beyond what was normal. Samuel wrote, "Jabez cried out, "Enlarge MY territory!" ( I Chron. 4:10) Many people would assume that Jabez would merely ask for God’s blessings on his present responsibilities, but this man of God asked God to go beyond what was normal. Trust the Lord to do a new thing in your personal life, relationships and ministries so that others will give greater glory to the God who goes beyond human expectations.
7. The Holy Spirit used Jabez by leading him to ask God to be kept from all kinds of harm. Samuel wrote, Jabez cried, "Keep me from harm." (I Chron. 4:10) Ask the Lord to deliver you from physical, spiritual, social, mental, emotional, cultural, political, financial, demonic, and all kinds of personal harm.