Jessica Albritton, Family Connections Minister, LHBC
1 Chronicles 4:9-10
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.”
I started reading through the book of 1st Chronicles the other day. I usually read at least a chapter a day during my quiet time in the mornings but this particular morning I decided to read more. You see, I read the first chapter and realized it was nothing but genealogy. Name after name after name. I closed my Bible feeling a little discouraged. Lord, what am I supposed to get out of all that? All it contained was names… How is that supposed to grow me spiritually? Now let me be clear, I understand the importance of it all, it’s all a part of the history and gives credibility to the text. And don’t get me wrong, I believe that ALL of scripture is God breathed and profitable. But some of it is, well I’ll just say what we are all thinking… boring… I decided to not end my time with the Lord there and continued to read. Chapter 2 however is the same, just a bunch of names. I skimmed ahead to see when I would get to the “good part.” My heart sank… Chapter 10. The first 9 chapters are pretty much a bore because it is quite literally 406 verses of nothing but straight genealogy 😴 Reading through the “boring parts of scripture is a discipline for sure. I decided to just power through and read it all in one sitting. I was about to give up when about midway through I noticed something. It’s only two verses and I almost missed it.
In chapter 4 verses 9-10 it reads, “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.” Did you catch it? Of all the names and tribes mentioned in the span of 406 verses only one person was given specific and special mention. Jabez. Of all the people mentioned in the text that had done great works, of which there were many, none were elaborated on except Jabez. Mighty men of God like Adam, Abraham, David, Levi, Aaron, and countless others were merely skimmed over. A brief mention, a mere footnote in the pages of the history of the nation Judah. But this man Jabez, who was mentioned only here in verses 9-10, was highlighted. The Lord does nothing by accident, this is intentional. So why him? What’s so special about this ordinary man? It wasn’t for anything he did that the world might deem important. He was mentioned for the sole fact that he prayed.
Fellow believers, we may get our name recognized by the world because of our actions, we may get mentioned in textbooks because of our accomplishments, but we get noticed and mentioned by our Heavenly Father as a result of a contrite heart that seeks Him fervently through prayer. We have been hammering home in the Student Ministry that prayer doesn’t just change things, it changes everything! Prayer is powerful and effective and moves the heart of God! 1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us to pray without ceasing! In Philippians 4 scripture reminds believers not to be anxious about anything, but in everything we do, in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, we are to let our requests be made known to God! It goes on to say when we do this the peace of God, which surpasses all our understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus! Friend, how’s your prayer life? Are you more concerned with the actions and accomplishments you can physically muster? Be encouraged today that the recognition from this world is shallow and fleeting! Seek your Heavenly Father and pray fervently to Him! It doesn’t just change things, it changes everything!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, change my attitude towards prayer! Give me a deep desire to pray and grow in my relationship with You! Lord, may my prayer life not be shallow and ineffective. May prayer be my first response, not my last resort! In Jesus name, amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 John 5:12
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.