Summary: Jabez was called a child of sorrow by his mother. The name never came to fruition because he trusted God.
Dickerson Road Baptist Church
Wednesday Evening: January 3,
Pastor, Dr.Michael Blankenship
1Chronicles 4:9-11 A Prayer of Jabez.
Little is known of this biblical character Jabez. He comes listed only under the lineage of Judah, he seems to be misplaced here in this verse coming from no where and headed for some where. He comes in at verse nine and leaves at verse eleven two verses, and yet there is something more, there is a substance, and solitude to this man. In his obscure existence, we may each find a lesson on life. He comes born during a time of stress and war. He receives a name to guarantee a future of trouble and heartache, and tears. His mother calls him Jabez, because he was born with much sorrow. This child is unlike any of her others with whom she has showered love and nurture and encouragement. This child has come at the wrong time and he will not, succeed so she asks herself what is the point?
O my friend how shortsighted we at times have become. We cannot see the forest for the trees. We miss the rainbow because we look only at the darkened clouds of rain. Far too often, we miscalculate what is good for us and, how we shall be able to apply it in the future. We hold our breath expecting the worst and feeling certain only evil and despair is soon to come. How often do those things we expect for our disaster suddenly turn to our benefit? Have you ever cried and cried knowing that a child or a friend was so badly out of line that there remained no hope without the intervention of God, and that wasn’t looking to promising the way they were living? And just as soon as you were prepared to give up, to quit, to stop the praying, that person came under Holy Ghost conviction, and was saved in dramatic fashion.
The bible calls Jabez more honorable than his brethren. He is honorable because he trusts in an unknown hand to guide his life. Further, more, some scholars believe that he may be a gentile.
The reason is that the Old Testament Patriarchs called upon God as the God of our fathers.
New Testament Apostles would pray to God as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Still further adding to the mix there are traditions in the Jewish heritage, which attribute Jabez with founding a school, being a great teacher and having a multitude of disciples see verse55.
In either case, Jabez leaves these formalities aside and scripture says that Jabez called on the God of Israel. The point to having these names for God was the belief that by having these sir names, one could call upon God and he would not only hear the prayer, he would answer it as well. Obviously, Jabez simply cries out a simple heart felt prayer with little formality, but with a tremendous amount of sincerity. This is what God wants our sincerity, rather than a hollow and shallow formality. He simply asks,”o that thou would bless me indeed.”
Jabez’s name means sorrowful, and perhaps his mother could only see him with fear and a weariness that eclipses, comfort in wartime. Unfortunately this young mother cannot associate and joy or happiness with this child’s birth. I wonder if his young mother lived to see her son grown to manhood. I wonder if she lived to see her words ring hollow in the success of her boy. How often also do we quickly apply the Jabez to things, which we cannot understand?
My friend we cannot underestimate the blessings that God has in store for us. That is what we do when we bury ourselves under the mounds of defeatism, and pessimistic calculations that leave out the prime factor of divine guidance. Moreover, we have here before this evening just such a calculation:
1. A gem of a prayer seeking Gods blessing.
A. It is a prayer seeking to push out borders of Oppression.
In this day of conformist dreams and cookie cutter idealism, I believe God wants us to break away from the herd. I believe he would have us to expand our borders, to stretch ourselves until we find out why we believe in the things that we do. Come then, let us draw deeply from the waters of life, and let us go to the well spring of God and drink until our thirst subsides. Let us find mercy that has no ends, and kindness that cannot cease. We must push out those things, which seek to confine us to weight us down, and to destroy our lives.
The need to push out the borders of spiritual insight. The borders that we keep around our homes in our closets and on the coffee table, those spiritual ideas that we attach ourselves to without supportive evidence for their existence. Jabez found spiritual insight by seeking God’s direction that alone allowed him to purse the tearing down of the walls that would hold him hostage throughout his life.