CRY OUT TO GOD
Date: February 20
Category: God Answers
"Jabez was honorable above his brothers; but his mother named him Jabez [sorrow maker], saying, Because I bore him in pain. Jabez cried to the God of Israel, saying, Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and You would keep me from evil so it might not hurt me! And God granted his request."
The first nine chapters in the book of Chronicles primarily talks about names. Many people often skip through all the genealogy because they don't think that God can speak to them through that. But if God wanted to include all those names in His Word, then they must be important for us to read. In this passage about Jabez, we learn a very simple but astonishing truth. We read about a man who prayed and a God who answered. So the truth that we learn is that when we pray, God will answer.
Verse 9a says that Jabez was honorable above his brothers, meaning he was more respectful and probably more obedient than his brothers. To be honorable means to be respected. So we see here that Jabez had a very good character. Because his character was good, his spiritual life was good as well. We see that in verse 10a where it says, "Jabez cried to the God of Israel, saying, Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border…"
God wants to bless us, but you and I have to be like Jabez and cry out to Him in order to receive that blessing. When we receive the blessing of God, we can be a blessing to others. When we ask God to enlarge our borders (as Jabez did in this verse), we can use that increase to bless others. So it's okay to ask God to bless you. It is His desire to see you blessed because when you are blessed, you can bless others.
In this passage, Jabez also prayed that the hand of God would be with him (verse 10b). Having the hand of God with you means having God's assistance to succeed in whatever you do. When the hand of God is upon your life, you will do well in your studies, your business, your relationships, etc. You will be successful in every area of your life.
But Jabez didn't stop praying there. Verse 10 also says that he prayed for God to keep him from evil so that it might not hurt him. So we should pray the same thing. We should pray that God would create a hedge of protection around us to protect us from all evil and harm.
But in order to receive God's blessing and protection, we need to do what Jabez did and cry out to God. The last part of verse 10 says, "And God granted his request." That's the great thing about this passage. When Jabez, an honorable man before the Lord, prayed to God, God granted his request. So we need to cry out to God in order to receive His blessing and His protection. Not only that, but we also have to live honorably before Him just as Jabez did. Prayer precedes results, so pray – cry out to God – and God will grant your requests.