Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
(1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (NIV))
How do you think of yourself in comparison to Jabez? Do you consider yourself to be blessed? Do you think that your territory has been enlarged? Is God’s hand with you?
What have you asked God for in the past? Were the things that you asked for a selfish request or were they something that would enlarge God’s territory if He granted them?
Has God granted your prayers and requests?
Think about that for a moment.
Now, think about what you asked for.
If you are like me, all too often our prayers and requests fall short of what God desires us to ask for. How do you think you compare with Jabez, after all, Jabez was more honorable than his brothers? What made Jabez more honorable? Was it his faith? Was it his devotion? Perhaps it was his righteousness. It may even have been something as simple as his spirit of humility. Whatever it was, God noticed.
I would venture to say that Jabez possessed the very traits that we know as the fruits of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV))
Does God love the sinner? I think that we all know the answer to that question? He loves the sinner enough to have sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. He loves the sinner with such conviction that He was willing to do whatever it would take to redeem each sinner.
Does God love the righteous? He loves the righteous with the same conviction as the love He shows for the sinner. Could the request that Jabez made have simply been a plea to God to use him so that others would see His glory? Was Jabez a sinner? I am sure that he was, for all have sinned. Was Jabez a righteous man? From what we know of him, he probably desired to do what was pleasing to God. It is not outside of Biblical principles to believe that God rewarded Jabez for his desires, for he appears to have been like David.
After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: `I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
(Acts 13:22 (NIV))
God loves each of us. He has called each of us to do His will. Perhaps Jabez was like the servant in the story about the talents. He was faithful with what the Master gave him.
“His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
(Matthew 25:21 (NIV))
Are you faithful with what God has given you?