Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
Genesis 32:22 – 31 “But [Jacob] said, ‘I will not let You go unless You bless me!’”
First Chronicles 4:9-10 “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore in pain.’ And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that it might not grieve me.’ So God granted him what he requested.”
Many of us recall a small book written by Bruce Wilkinson, “The Prayer of Jabez”. It was very, very popular for a few years; so popular, in fact, that others who wrote about prayer actually expressed a level of jealousy and disapproval at the time. Too much popularity becomes decidedly unpopular with some folks. Dr. Wilkinson was one of my college professors way back in the old days, not long after the earth’s crust hardened. We memorized 1 Chronicles 4:9 – 10 in his class. I love the promise contained in that passage.
God is in the practice of providing His blessing to those who diligently seek Him.
A son of Israel, Jabez appears and disappears in an instant. He is noted as ‘more honorable’ than his brothers, and as a person who ‘called upon the God of Israel’. Those two things can be true of your life, as well. We can see that Jabez put his hope in God, of whom he had learned from the books of Moses the wonderful works of creation, calling and covenants that his own family and nation were built upon. He didn’t yet know Jesus’ work of salvation or new birth in Christ, but he put his trust in God by calling upon Him for blessing. Our Father God still responds to those who call upon Him through Jesus, the Son, our Savior. He can open blessings in your life.
How long did Jabez call upon God for His blessing? The Scripture doesn’t tell us, but the more-honorable character of this man would lead me to believe that he brought this request boldly and diligently over his lifetime. In other words, he wasn’t one to give up. Jacob was also not one to give up; so much so that he was given a new name and a new blessing because he refused to quit wrestling for God’s best. Your Lord and Savior will always be the source of more and greater blessing.
Now it is your lifetime and you need His transforming hand. If you follow Jesus, as He invites you to do, He will be in the business of transforming you into that more honorable, more bless-able person. But will you be diligent in calling upon Him? Will you persevere when character or circumstance is against you? Will you be found trusting His strength and forgiveness, instead of resigning because of your weaknesses? How valuable, how infinite might His blessing be? You can only know if you begin to call upon Him. He will enlarge your borders. Ephesians 1:3 – 14. Hebrews 11:6.
Believing for your blessing,
Pastor Rich Marshall