This devotional is penned by Barry.
1 Chronicles 4:9-10
Short straw this morning- 5 chapters of genealogy!! Lots of names and very difficult to follow.
However one character stands out- Jabez. So what do we know about him?
• he had brothers
• he had a mother
We don’t know the names of his brothers…they are confined to the silence of history. But we do know his name. Why? Because he was more honourable than his brothers for he called upon the God of Israel. This suggests that his brothers did not. They did not honour God so God did not honour them. But Jabez did. He acknowledged God and knew that he needed God. Not just any god. No. The God of Israel….the one true living God. He honoured God and so his name is recorded for us all so that we know that IF we honour God by merely seeking Him, He will honour us.
We don’t know the name of his mother. We do know that his mother didn’t have the best of experiences giving birth to Jabez. Painful! (No gas and air in those days!!) So she called him Jabez which sounds like the Hebrew for ‘pain’. Names can carry a lot of meaning. You carry your name all your life.Perhaps our African brethren have a point when they name their children “Blessing” “Rejoice” “Patience” - a constant reminder of the Lord.
Imagine being reminded that every time that your name is called that you inflicted pain on your mother when she gave birth to you!!
Maybe Jabez felt this stigma. Maybe he felt guilty for something he had no control over. He wouldn’t be alone. Maybe this is you. Maybe it was this that drove him to the Lord. Maybe this is what you need to do.
A brief look at his prayer:-
A new place - Bless me.
Perhaps he had tried looking in all the usual places and concluded that lasting joy peace and blessing could only come from God. He knew he needed the Lord. Do you?
A new home - Enlarge my border
He, like all the Old Testament saints desired a better country (Hebrews 11:16). We New Testament saints have been promised a ‘country’ without borders. Our true home, heaven, lies at the end of our earthly pilgrimage. Do you believe it?
A new friend - that your hand might be with me
Like Moses “If your Presence doesn’t take the lead here, call this trip off right now.…?” (Exodus 33:15 - The Message).
We need the Lord to be our Friend and Travelling Companion. We’ll never make heaven alone.
Ask Him daily to walk with you.
A new name - keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain
Jabez did not want to stay where he was. He wanted the stigma and the guilt removed. He wanted to be transformed. He was leaving the old city behind and was moving on to a new city. There he would be called “No-pain” And you too will have a new name (Rev 3:12)
And God granted his request. Just ask…………