Key Passage: 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
Key Text: 1 Chronicles 4;10 – “Jabez called upon the God of Israel,”
People are sometimes limited by the definitions of others. In other words, some people cannot rise above the spoken words of others about them. Don’t misunderstand me. These spoken words can be so powerful, that it literally controls the person’s destiny. If these words were spoken by people in authority over that person, they can be even more powerful. Parents, teachers, bosses, older siblings, legal guardians, pastors and clergymen fall into this category. So we all ought to be considerate and measured before we pronounce a word over anyone to define them. These words could make or break a human being. There is a very interesting passage in the book of Genesis, where God created the animals and brought them to Adam to name them, and whatever he called them, that was their name. (Genesis 2:19).
Jabez found himself in such a situation. His mother bore him in pain and so gave him the name Jabez, meaning ‘He would cause pain’. Imagine living with such a name and curse over your life. That such person would always cause pain. This is a serious limitation that can totally make nonsense of all Jabez’s attempt to do anything good. But Jabez did not accept his fate and say que sara sara (what will be will be). He refused to be limited by the words of men over his life. He sought the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel.
The bible captures the prayer of Jabez in its entirety. Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, ‘Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!’ And God granted what he asked.
He cried out to God. First point here is never look to man to change your destiny. Only God can make you who He wants you to be. Men have used this lack of knowledge to manipulate and control other men for ages. God is our creator and He is our maker. He is also the owner of our destinies and futures. So please learn from Jabez, cry out to God, not man.
He asked God for specific things; That God will bless him. What He was asking for was that God will speak another word over his life. Blessings are words, so are curses. The great mystery here is that the power of the blessing is greater than the power of the curse. Even if someone curses you and God blesses you, the curse will turn to a blessing. The blessing swallows up the curse.
He asked God to enlarge his territory or border. Jabez had seen that the word spoken by his mother had brought a limitation to his life. He knew he could do more, but somehow felt constrained under the pressure of his name. Limitation is a very demonic thing. It robs people of their potential and purpose. It makes dwarfs of giants. Jabez asked the only person who can change things to move the lines of his borders outwards and enlarge them. The bible says in Psalm 16:6, “ “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, behold I have a good inheritance.”
He asked for God’s hand to be upon him. He requested the presence and backing of God for his life. The bible tells us, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’
Lastly, he asked God to keep him from harm so that it would not cause him pain. Only God knows how much pain Jabez had to bear before getting to this point in his life? But Jabez was sick and tired of pain, so he asked God to keep him from evil and harm. He asked that God would make him secure. If he did not experience harm or pain, he would not cause pain to others. Hurt people, hurt others. So in this prayer, he showed a deep understanding. If evil does not come his way, he cannot be a giver of evil. So the effect of the name, “Pain” will never materialise.
The bible tells us God granted him what he requested. Jabez was a more honourable man that all his brothers. Jabez got the needed breakthrough to set him apart in a generation. He spoke to God and God sorted him out.
Today, you may be in a similar position. You are plagued by disaster and you just can’t seem to get things working for you. Its time you did what Jabez did. Cry out to God and ask Him to change your situation. God always answers. He is Omnipotent and kind.
Let’s Pray: Father God, I thank you for the story of Jabez. It is a big encouragement to me. I ask you today to please bless me. Pronounce your blessings on my life. Thank you for the promise, that I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Father, enlarge my coast, my territory. Give me more. Father, let your hand be upon me. Back me up and empower me with your Holy Spirit to succeed. Lastly father, keep harm and evil away from me and don’t let me cause anyone pain. Let me be a person of blessing and joy. Let people experience your goodness through me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.