Jabez is a man who was not frequently mentioned in Scripture. Studying Scripture we learn that his lineage has him as a descendant of Hur, from the tribe of Asher. When we look at what these names mean we will find some irony. Asher means happy and Jabez means sorrow. Let’s look at the Scripture which mentions Jabez:
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” 10. Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.
Two verses. That’s it. This is all we learn of Jabez. These two verses hold a LOT of information though. We learn that:
- Jabez is more honorable than his brothers.
- His name means sorrow/pain because his mother “bore him with pain.” Did she not have pain with her other deliveries?
- That Jabez asked God specifically for: a. Bless me indeed (he is asking for a blessing, a sure blessing) b, Enlarge my border (he is requesting more land) c. Your hand might be with me (he doesn’t want to walk alone, he wants God walking with him daily, holding his hand.) d. Keep me from harm (place a hedge of protection around him) e. that it may not pain me (remember, his name means sorrow/pain)
- And God granted him what he requested.
In Israel, to Hebrews/Jews, the meaning of names is very important. Having his name mean sorrow could have possibly stigmatized Jabez. Just his name could have caused him to have a lower self-esteem. (Scripture doesn’t tell us this, I am speculating.) He prayed from his heart, TRUSTING God to answer his request. When I read this passage, I think of Hannah and her prayer. She, too, prayed from her heart. Both Jabez and Hannah prayed from the depths of their hearts, and God heard their prayers, and granted them what they asked.
Just as Jesus taught us to pray with the Lord’s Prayer, Hannah and Jabez provide us examples of how to pray. They show us the importance of praying from the depths of our heart, from deep within our soul, and then fully trusting God to answer that prayer. Neither of them had one ounce of doubt when they prayed. They prayed accepting to receive. How often do we allow doubt to hinder our prayers? I encourage you, as you pray for healing, finances, our country, your family, and friends, pray with the surety that God hears you and will answer your prayers! Do not allow fear and doubt to rob you of the blessings God so graciously desires to give you. Let the prayer of Jabez be your prayer as well.