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Summary: The way to the top begins down on your knees.

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JABEZ: A Man Who believed In Prayer

(1 Chronicles 4:9-10) And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested. (KJV)

What are you known for? His name is not mentioned in “Faith’s Hall of Fame” in Hebrews 11. His whole life is summarized in two verses and yet Jabez was more honorable than his brethren were. Jabez was known for his prayer life.

I. HIS PROBLEM

And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.

A. CONSIDER THE REASON FOR HIS NAME

“His mother bore him with sorrow.”

1. Was it because the delivery was hard?

2. Was it because times were hard?

B. CONSIDER THE RIDICULE BECAUSE OF HIS NAME.

“His mother called his name Jabez.” (Meaning sorrowful)

1. He had to carry this “tag” throughout his life.

2. Other child may have teased him when he was young.

“Johnny Cash is often known simply as “The Man in Black.” His deep voice and craggy face are well suited for tough-guy songs like “Folsom Prison Blues” and “I Walk the Line.” But there is a song he did a number of years ago that doesn’t fit that mold at all. Oh, it starts out that way. The song tells the story of a man who is still angry with his father, who abandoned he and his mother almost immediately after he was born, leaving them penniless and alone. But his father’s desertion isn’t what he’s angry about: “Now, I don’t blame him ‘cause he run and hid But the meanest thing that he ever did Was before he left, he went and named me ‘Sue.’” The rest of the song details the physical and emotional suffering that gets inflicted on little Sue.” Not surprisingly, the Boy named Sue grows into an angry man who is quick to get into a fight – especially with anyone who finds humor in his name. Sue makes it his quest to find his Dad, not out of any positive motivation, but simply because he’s determined to kill him for ruining his life. He finds him in a bar one day and they have a spectacular fight, with Sue eventually getting the upper hand. As Sue stands poised with gun in hand, his father offers this as an explanation "Son, this world is rough; And if a man’s gonna make it, he’s got be tough And I knew I wouldn’t be there to help you along. So I give ya that name and I said goodbye I knew you’d have to get tough or die, and it’s the name that helped to make you strong." Not only does his Dad not apologize, he tells his son he ought to thank him for giving him the name that made him so tough. Of course, since this song is intended to be pure silliness. Sue doesn’t kill his Dad. They end up embracing. And Sue vows that if he ever has a son, he’ll name him, “Bill or George or ANYTHING but Sue!” Illustration: Mary Lewis


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