by Stephen Whitney

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Jabez: Honorable Desire (17 of 18)
Series: Lessons from the lives of OT Characters
Stephen Whitney
1 Chronicles 4:9-10

The Chinese New Year celebration is a major holiday and often the evening before families gather for an annual reunion dinner. Widows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts. Business managers give bonuses in red envelopes to employees as a blessing for good luck, good health and wealth.

Members of the family who are married give red envelopes containing token sums of money as a form of a blessing to both children and teenagers in the family. The kids often rip open their packets just to get the money and their parents have to remind them that the giver is more important that the gift.

When we study the prayer of Jabez we have to remember that the Lord who is the giver is more important that the gift's he gives us. Psalm 103:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity and heals all your diseases.

James 1:17 Every good gift comes down from the Father.

If we focus only of the request of Jabez, it could be easy to make the mistake of turning his prayer into a formula for obtaining what we want from God instead of seeing in it how God wants us to pray so that our lives will bring honor to him.

Genealogies Chuck Swindoll wrote, ''A stroll thought the first nine chapters of I Chronicles is a lot like walking through a cemetery - endless genealogies with names we can barely pronounce and having no context to give them relevance to us.'' In chapter four we come across a short epitaph of one man named Jabez who is listed as the 35th ''son'' in the line of descendants of Judah. The name of his father is not given and we know nothing more about him than these two verses which describe his character.


Character Honorable - Heb. greatly respected I Samuel 9:6 Samuel was held in honor (NIV highly respected).

II Samuel 23:23 Benaiah, who killed an Egy ...

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