From what I can gather, Jabez is not mentioned in the Bible other than 1 Chronicles. “Jabez” is mentioned as a place in chapter 2, and other than that, the man called Jabez is only mentioned in 1 Chronicles 4…
1 Chronicles 4:8-10
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother named him Jabez and said, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez called out to the God of Israel: “If only You would bless me, extend my border, let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm, so that I will not cause any pain.” And God granted his request.
I was driving my kids to the park for a playdate this morning and this scripture came to mind.
Now, depending on the version it sometimes says “that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me” (New American Standard Bible) or something to that effect. The version that I’m using today (HCSB) as well as the New King James Version states it this way: that I will not cause any pain. I don’t know about you but I love reading from different versions.
Poor guy. His mom called him pain, he might have been known as a pain, and he just didn’t want to be a pain.
Do you feel his pain?
It’s amazing that we don’t really know more about Jabez. He’s not mentioned again. Only that he caused his mother pain in child birth, and therefore she named him Jabez. The meaning of Jabez literally is pain or sorrow. It’s no wonder I can’t think of a single Jabez I have ever come across… who wants their name to mean pain?
Do you know a Jabez?
But his desire was that he would be blessed by God, that his border would be expanded, that God’s hand would be on him, that He would keep him from harm and that he would not cause pain.
I found that I was praying that today in my car. “Lord, I pray that I would not cause pain.” Sometimes we don’t even know when we say things or do things that cause others pain. Sometimes I can think on this so much that I end up putting my foot in my mouth simply because I’m trying so hard not too! This is silly, really, but we’ve probably all done it. Which is a great reason to extend grace to others when they do the same.
But you know this prayer of surrender is so powerful. Jabez wanted to be blessed by God and to be a blessing. And he is described as “honourable”.
Jabez has a great legacy, and it’s really just a simple prayer.
Let’s make this our prayer too.