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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Morning Manna | 1 Chronicles 4:10 | Jabez called on the God of Israel

1Ch 4:10  And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

Right in the middle of a genealogy, where men's entire lives are summed up in  2 or 3 words we find that the Holy Ghost, by the hand of Ezra, decided to take 2 verses, 72 words, to look at the life of an unknown Man. All that we know about Jabez is that he was born in pain and lived in Glory. The Lord halted the procession of Great men in this genealogy, so we need to pause and see what it is about this man that caught the attention of God and effected a change of life for sorrowful Jabez.

First, we have to notice that God is no respecter of persons, Jabez was not a great man like David or Solomon, yet God honored his prayers as if he were a great man. We sell ourselves short in prayer when we are a respecter of person, or we think that God only answers great prayers when they come from great men. Jabez was a nobody in the eyes of man, but what man is a somebody in the eyes of the creator? We are all dust made alive by the same God and we stand on equal ground with kings and millionaires when we stand before the Lord on our knees. Not only do you not have to be a great man to speak to a great God, but neither do your prayers have to be great. This prayer is not the most eloquent in scripture, neither is the longest. It is a simple, short prayer. God is not a respecter of great men nor great prayers, some of the most effective have been the shortest, think of Peter's prayer on the sea "Save me." Short, panicked, even faithless, but wasn't it met with the hand of God? Think of Jesus's prayer on the cross "Father forgive them!" 3 words to which we have yet to see the depth of, they are still being answered, every time a sinner trusts Christ that 3-word prayer is answered. Jabez's prayer was short but had a lifelong effect. So it does not matter that you are a weak man with weak prayers, so long as you are speaking to God. He is strong enough to make up for all our weak prayers, and he is great enough to account for all our ungreatness.

There are four requests in this prayer. One is "Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed." Jabez knew where to look for genuine blessings, God. Too often we are satisfied with the blessings of others. We look to men, fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, we pray to them we trust them, and the hope of a blessing is wrapped up in others. Sometimes we look to ourselves for a blessing, we determine that if we're going to have anything then we'll have to go out and get it ourselves, many have found blessings in these avenues but they have not found "Blessings indeed." That is real blessings, we may find temporal blessings elsewhere but you will not find eternal, "Indeed" blessing anywhere but from God." I was reminded of Jesus ' instructions for us, Seek those things which are above, Real blessings are not houses and land and cars and wealth, but are those things we find the NT church praying for. Peace, mercy, love, joy, Spiritual blessings. So Lord bless us indeed, Give us greater riches of your blessings indeed.

Secondly, He prays "Enlarge my coast." I was reminded of a blessing the Lord sent us here at the church when I read this statement. God had blessed us with a container load of Bibles, and we were thrilled. Soon after the excitement wore off we realized we did not have the capacity to store 60,000 bibles. So then we had to ask the Lord to give us somewhere to safely keep them and be good stewards of them. He blessed us with a blessing we did not have the capacity to care for until he gave us a container to keep them as well. So often I have asked God for greater measures of love, greater measures of faith, greater measures of obedience, and found that my heart was too cold, my hands too weak, and my feet too slow to keep up with what I was asking for. So when we pray for deeper draughts of God's love, may we also pray for enlarged hearts that may reflect more of it, stronger hands that may distribute it, and swifter feet that may go further than before. Enlarge our coast that we may contain these blessings, that we may have more ports of entry that are bringing in daily the heavenly goods and more ports of departure that we may carry it to this world. Lord, Enlrage our coast!

Thirdly He prays, "And that thine hand might be with me." When such blessings have been bestowed and our coast has been expanded to deal in such great waters we will soon realize our own inability to keep up with such an operation. We realize we may have asked for more than we can maintain, but we can never ask for more than he can maintain. We are to pray for things beyond our means, and we do. Those things we assume we can do we just do, but the things beyond us we pray about, not long after receiving them we realize we need more, We need his hand to uphold all the blessings he has sent. One answered prayer leads to another need to pray for more and therefore leads to another answered prayer! Lord Grow us so deeply in your blessings, enlarge our coast so broadly that it is beyond our ability to upkeep and thus leading us to a life of total dependency upon your great hand to uphold us and all that you have given us. 

Lastly, He prays "And that thou wouldest keep me from evil." At the end of his prayer, we are reminded that heaven's business will be fought. There are evils in this world that would love to stop the import of heavenly goods into our hearts and the export of heavenly goods to the world around us. There are evils not only around us but within us, there is an old man, he is a mole from the enemy within our own lives to bring down the heavenly business of blessings. All these forces are stronger than us, more organized than us, and the more business we do with heaven the more infuriated they become, and their plans become increasingly wise. Lord such blessings will without doubt bring opposition from evil, Keep me! Lord I need you to guard me and shield me from all the attacks, plans, and snares that evil will set along the way in this business of blessings! 

"And God granted him that which he requested." That is where we leave this man, a little-known man. All we know is his life was an answered prayer. Lord may our life be summed up as such one day, A sorrowful man who called on the Lord and heard and he lived all his days in the blessings of heaven. 

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