God is a God of Blessing! God blessed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because they desired to be be blessed. In fact, Jacob was so desirous of the blessing that he deceived Isaac to lay claim to it. Since God is the same yesterday, today and forever, His desire is always to bless. He blessed Israel. He blessed Jabez. He blessed Job. He blessed Mary, the mother of Jesus. He blessed the little children. The blessing of God is most desirable. Why? “The blessing of the Lord, it makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it” (Pro. 10:22). Think about that just a moment! The blessing of God makes rich! This means rich materially, physically and spiritually. What was it that Paul said? Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers” (3Jo. 2).
A wish can be a pronunciation of a blessing; Paul’s wish or blessing was threefold:
materially with success and prosperity
physically with good health
spiritually sound and mature
Moreover, the blessing of God is void of sorrow. I don’t know anyone who wants sorrow. How
can it be avoided? Like Jabez, by asking God to bless you. God honored Jabez because he
believed and prayed the prayer of faith (1Ch. 4:10). Jabez was blessed because he believed God was willing to bless him, could bless him and would bless him.
It was suddenly that the Chronicler (the author of 1 and 2 Chronicles) interrupted the genealogy of Hezron with a man named Jabez. No record of Jabez’s father was given, the Chronicler leaving his orderly structure to interject Jabez within the line of Judah. He seemingly came out of nowhere, all because God desired to honor him. He did not belong in the genealogy in which he was placed. Yet, he was placed there because God was pleased with his prayer of faith when he asked God to bless him. He rose above his circumstances, looking to God to bring him out, and God did not fail him.
The meaning of the name, “Jabez”, is “sorrow” and “pain”. Although he was listed as a man of Judah, his family connection was not given. The Chronicler gave little information regarding Jabez, but what he did share was vitally important and inspirational for generations to come. Upon his birth, Jabez was not celebrated. In fact, his mother gave him a name that labeled him for much of his life. She named him Jabez (pain), saying, “Because I gave birth to him in pain.”
WHO WAS THIS UNKNOWN MAN FROM JUDAH WHOSE LIFE WAS SQUEEZED INTO
ONLY TWO VERSES?
“And Jabez was more honorable 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 You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested” (1Ch. 4:9).
Squeezed into only two small verses were the following facts about Jabez:
He was a descendant of Judah.
He had brothers.
He was more honorable than his brothers. Jabez was “more honorable than his brothers” because he knew God was the Source of blessing and he had faith that God wanted to bless him. Therefore, Jabez asked the Lord to bless him, and God did as Jabez had asked Him. God honored Jabez because he honored Him.
His mother named him at his birth.
His birth was a painful one for his mother.
His name, “Jabez”, meant “sorrow” or “pain”.
His mother did not celebrate him. By naming him Jabez, she was, in fact, calling him a pain to herself. In his prayer, Jabez cried out to God for protection and blessing. Jabez used a play on his name, asking God to keep him from that sorrow that his name both recalled and foreboded.
His circumstances in life did not have a good beginning.
He recognized the true God and did not seek false “gods”.
He prayed a prayer of faith to God and God answered his prayer.
HOW DID JABEZ RECEIVE THE BLESSING OF GOD?
Jabez made five requests of God:
Bless me indeed—Jabez acknowledged the God of Israel as being the Source of all blessing. He spoke to God and asked Him to bless him.
Enlarge my coast—Jabez asked God to expand his territory. In other words, Jabez prayed for prosperity in all his endeavors.
Let Your hand be with me—Jabez knew the difference that God’s presence would bring to his life.
Keep me from evil—Jabez petitioned God to protect him from all harm, meaning that Jabez asked God to be his defender. In the same essence, Jesus encouraged believers to pray like Jabez, saying to pray that God would deliver them from evil (Mat. 6:13).
Keep me from the grief (hurt) that evil would bring me—Jabez asked that no hurt would come to him.
GOD ANSWERED JABEZ
The blessing Jabez enjoyed outweighed the sorrow of his early beginning. The prayer of Jabez overcame the name of Jabez. The prayer of Jabez is an example of humility, faith, and reliance upon God’s goodness and should impress on the children of God to pray like him, so that they, too, may partake of the blessings of the Lord, as did Jabez. Jabez took his need directly to God. God heard Jabez and He will also hear anyone who prays likewise from the heart. God is impartial; “For God shows no partiality [no arbitrary favoritism; with Him one person is not more important than another]” (Rom. 2:11).
Jewish scholars believe he was the son of Coz and a student of the Law of Moses. They attributed a town of scribes to him, the city called Jabez located in Judah, thus showing how God did honor and bless him (1Ch. 2:55).
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF BLESSING AND HOW CAN ONE BLESS ANOTHER?
Bless, blessed and blessing, were used almost 1,000 times in the Bible: Sometimes in the Bible the word, “peace”, was interchanged in the place of blessing. In the Amplified Version blessing was defined as “enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions with freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin” (Mat. 5:9; 10:13).
To bless someone is to invoke God’s favor upon a person: The word, “invoke”, means “to declare to binding”. The word “favor” is defined as (a) showing excessive kindness to another; (b) a bestowal of a gift or gifts upon a person; and (c) a demonstration of goodwill or kindness toward another. To bless a person is “to declare with power and to bind upon someone God’s favor, making it stick to them; that He will show excessive kindness to and bestow gifts upon and demonstrate His goodwill and kindness to the person, so that the person may enjoy happiness and be spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions and with freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin”.
A blessing can be invoked by words of faith upon a person and it will come upon them:
Noah to Shem: “he (Noah) SAID, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant” (Gen. 9:26-27).
Isaac with Jacob: “And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? Where is he that has taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before you came, and HAVE BLESSED HIM? Yea, and he shall be blessed” (Gen. 27:33).
Moses and Israel: “MOSES...BLESSED THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL before his death” (Deu. 33:1).
Jesus blessed the children: Then were there brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them, and PRAY” (Mat. 19:13).
Believers and those who are worthy: “And if the house is worthy, LET YOUR PEACE COME UPON IT: but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you” (Mat. 10:13).
In conclusion, ASK God to bless you. Be like Jabez—more honorable than your brothers. Invoke a blessing on your spouse and children. Remember, the blessing is powerful when spoken in faith, and it makes rich and adds no sorrow to it. Pray with me now Jabez’s prayer upon yourself or your loved ones.
God, bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast.
Let your hand be with me.
Keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!