How to Get God's Blessing
"And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, 'Oh, that You would bless me indeed...'" (1 Chronicles 4:10)
The Word of God records in the middle of a long genealogy, a surprising testimony about the life of Jabez, whose example shows us how to obtain God's blessing for ourselves.
"Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez saying, 'because I bore him 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 I may not cause pain!' So God granted him what he requested." (1 Chronicles 4:9,10)
1 The Family of Jabez (verse 9)
- His mother had apparently had a difficult delivery when Jabez was born, and so she remembered this when she chose his name, which means, "He will cause pain." This word for pain also means sorrow. It is derived from the same word used in Genesis 3:16.
- His brothers are not named for any distinguishing feature about them. But Jabez was more honorable than they were.
- Jabez was mentioned as noteworthy in the long list of relatives for being more honourable and for calling on God. If we truly call on God and love and obey Him, God will change our lives and make us more honourable in His sight.
There was a town named Jabez - possibly named after him, or by him. (1 Chronicles 2:55)
- His father is not mentioned, possibly because he was absent at the time of his birth. So we don't know anything about him.
2 The prayer of Jabez (verse 10)
Translations of his prayer:
- "Oh, that You would wonderfully bless me...and keep me from all evil."(The Living Bible)
- "a full blessing, Lord!" (Knox translation)
- "grant me a true blessing."(New Berkeley Version)
Things he prayed for (Modified outline of Matthew Henry)
- That God would bless him indeed.
- That God would enlarge his territory.
- That God might be with him.
"God's hand with us, to lead us, protect us, strengthen us...is indeed a hand sufficient for us, all sufficient." (Matthew Henry)
- That God would keep him from evil: the evil of sin, the evil of trouble, all the evil designs of his enemies, that they might not hurt him, or grieve him." (Matthew Henry)
- That he may not cause pain - even though his mother named him Jabez = "he will cause pain."
3 The God of Jabez (verse 11)
- God was eager to bless him and anyone who truly prays to God like this. "The words that follow (his short prayer) seem to show that God was so much more ready to hear than Jabez was to pray, that without waiting for him to finish his prayer it is added, 'And God granted him that which he requested.'" ("Figures of Speech used in the Bible" by E.W. Bullinger, page 152) "And God brought about what he had requested." (Berkeley Version)
- God does not have favourites. God granted Jabez what he requested, not because he was his favourite man, but because he truly called on God, seeking the Lord's help in his life. God is eager to grant the same to all who call upon Him like this. "And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2:21; Joel 2:32) "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For 'whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'" (Romans 10:12-13) "For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You." (Psalm 86:5) "The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them." (Psalm 145:18-19)
- God longs to bless us, but know this: that His blessings are conditional upon our diligent love and obedience to Him. This is clearly spelled out in Deuteronomy 28. Three times (in verses 1, 9, and 13) we are told these blessings are conditional. "If you diligently obey." (verse 1), "if you keep the commandments" (verse 9) and "if you heed the commandments ... and are careful to observe them" (verse 13).
The other side of the coin is that "if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God ... all these curses will come upon you" (verse 15).
And the reason for this God says is "because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me" (verse 20).
The name of Jabez is recorded in God's book because he called on the Lord, with a determination to follow the Lord in his life. Our names may or may never be recorded in earthly records such as: the Guinness Book of Records, Australian of the Year, a school award for sports or academics, or an achievement award at work. It truly does not matter! But what matters for eternity is whether or not our names are recorded in God's Book of Life.
The Apostle Paul mentions those "who laboured with me in the gospel" have their "names in the Book of Life." (Philippians 4:3) (Revelation 20:12 & 15: "And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books...And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." and 21:27: "But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life."
Be aware of this also. Because our name has been written in God's Book of Life does not automatically mean it can never be removed. According to God's Word in Exodus 32:33: "Whoever has sinned against Me (the Lord) I will blot him out of My book."
So the life of Jabez shows us how to obtain and maintain God's blessing on our lives: by truly and honestly calling upon God so that we may be more honourable and kept from all evil and know God's blessing on our lives, and be a blessing to others, and not a pain. And we must faithfully continue in this walk with God each day of our lives, to maintain the blessing of God.
Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.
Holiness, godliness, righteousness, and Christ-likeness in personal and church life