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Summary: This is the fifth and final lesson in my series based in I Chronicles 4:10.

ASK FOR PROTECTION

I Chronicles 4:10d

INTRODUCTION: Paul Harvey told about a 3-year-old boy who went to the grocery store with his mother. Before they entered the grocery store she said to him, "Now you’re not going to get any chocolate chip cookies, so don’t even ask." She put him up in the cart & he sat in the little child’s seat while she wheeled down the aisles. He was doing just fine until they came to the cookie section. He saw the chocolate chip cookies & he stood up in the seat & said, "Mom, can I have some chocolate chip cookies?" She said, "I told you not even to ask. You’re not going to get any at all." So he sat back down. They continued down the aisles, but in their search for certain items they ended up back in the cookie aisle. "Mom, can I please have some chocolate chip cookies?" She said, "I told you that you can’t have any. Now sit down & be quiet." Finally, they were approaching the checkout lane. The little boy sensed that this may be his last chance. So just before they got to the line, he stood up on the seat of the cart & shouted in his loudest voice, "In the name of Jesus, may I have some chocolate chip cookies?" And everybody round about just laughed. Some even applauded. And, according to Paul Harvey, due to the generosity of the other shoppers, the little boy & his mother left with 23 boxes of chocolate chip cookies.

I. EVIL AND PAIN

A. I have wrestled with the final clause of this prayer for several weeks trying to decide whether or not to divide it into two lessons. At first glance it seems as though there are two separate thoughts here, "O Lord keep me from evil" and "O Lord keep me from causing pain." But I have come to the conclusion that it is one continuous thought.

1. Evil and pain are synonymous with one another. There is always a price to paid when evil takes control of a person’s life, and often time that price is exacted in agony and suffering. The Bible is full of examples. Noah’s generation is remembered for having the intents of the thoughts of their hearts filled with evil all the time. They were consumed with wickedness, so God destroyed them with the great flood.

2. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were so wicked that not even ten righteous people could be found between them. That is all the more striking when you consider that there were five people in Lot’s family. All that needed to be found were five more out of over a million people. God destroyed those cities, and their inhabitants, with fire and brimstone because of their wickedness.

3. Three men named Korah, Dathan and Abiram started a rebellion against God and His spokesmen Moses and Aaron. They were determined to overthrow Moses and Aaron, even God, take control of the people and return to Egypt. As a result God opened up the ground beneath their tents and swallowed them up along with all their belongings, their families and their followers.

B. Evil and pain are inseparable. I have no doubt that Jabez knew that as a fact and that he knew by heart these stories we have just reviewed. He was an honest and honorable man. His heart’s desire was to be found faithful in God’s sight. Therefore he sought God’s protection from evil and causing pain. He did not want to be a wicked person, nor did he want to inflict pain in any way.

C. The Bible says that God granted his request. Jabez would go on to a live a life that was protected from evil and would not cause any pain. Why, because he had the faith and faithfulness to ask.

{Brothers and sisters, we should…}

II. ASK FOR GOD’S PROTECTION

A. Evil is something that pursues us everyday. It stalks us as prey and we become the hunted and it the hunter. This should not come as a surprise for us. Peter tells us that Satan "prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." He is active and working, scheming to cause just one of us to stumble, and his traps are well hidden, exquisitely designed and often times elegantly disguised. So much so that we do not recognize them until we are in their jaws.

1. They are often like quicksand. They look harmless to our untrained and innocent eyes. So we walk right into them and find ourselves sinking fast. The more we struggle the tighter their grip becomes until we are completely and hopelessly trapped. We are doomed and there is no way we can dig ourselves out.

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