Summary: When our background is full of pain and agony, we can only depend on God for deviverance
Rev. Eli Hernandez
The Pain That Changed Me
Usually when we read the Bible, a chapter like the one we just read is skipped. We don’t want to deal with the length and pronunciation of these difficult names. Sometimes we even ignore the fact that something significant should or could be found in these types of chapters.
These types of chapters are called “genealogies”. A genealogy is a record of the lineage of a family, or a list of ancestors. For the Jews keeping this type of record was very important. They would preserve these genealogies with extreme care, and reverence.
To the Jews, genealogies were important for several reasons:
1. It established their heritage—including their rights of inheritance and property, claims to the throne, priesthood and clan leadership
2. To keep record of their history as a nation. It helped them organize—determining how they pitched their tents, chose their spies, and got into the promise land
3. It helped the Jews prove that they were God’s chosen people, and it kept them in touch with what God had done in them and through them. It also helped them to trace the Predictions concerning the Messiah
The writer of First Chronicles used this list of names to show how God had chosen Israel for a prominent role in history. He wanted to encourage those who had just returned from exile and were struggling to rebuild their ruined nation. This genealogy helped the surviving Jews see that God could use them too, that God’s purposes were still in effect.
When reading it, for nine chapters you would see nothing but names. It talks about;
- Adam, the first man in history
- Abraham, the friend of God
- Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Essau
- Joseph, the governor of Egypt
- Moses, who talked to God face to face
- David, a man after God’s own heart
- Enoch, a man who walked with God
- Barnabas, a man full of the Spirit
- And then there is Jabez
We don’t know much about Jabez, but we know that he was a man of prayer and that he was more honorable than his brothers. These are two of the most powerful tools that any Christian today can have (1) Prayer and (2) Honor.
Why would this genealogy comment on Jabez? To the Hebrew’ way of thinking, Jabez was a “born looser.” His name literally means “PAIN”. His mother gave birth to him in “PAIN” and he comes from the tribe of Judah a tribe that suffered great “PAIN”.
But in spite of this dysfunctional beginning, he was honored because of his relationship with God. This was a valuable lesson for a people struggling with his or her own identity. The scripture are full of endless list of names. It is sad to think that multitudes are listed and that all that is said about them is that they lived and then they died.
Jabez was different, his name stood out from among those in insignificancy. He was not a great prophet, or preacher, he was not a wise ruler over a nation, and he was not famous on the field of battle, but he was a man of PRAYER & HONOR.
There are at least five Important Spiritual lessons in verse 10