Lots of things have been written and spoken on about a man celled Jabez. He appears in 1 Chronicles 4 smack dab in the middle of mentioning the lineage of Judah where very little is written about anyone except for him. With a simple, heartfelt prayer to the God of Israel come many points of light:
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.
Anyone, like me, who has been in the delivery room when a woman does a natural child birth understands that most babies are delivered in great pain. At the birth of my second daughter, my wife took no drugs, no shots, and being the extremely courageous person she was, despite the cries of much foul language and threats to kill me if I ever tried to touch her again, this beautiful baby was born in much pain.
Why Jabez was given that name I am not sure, I will leave that to Biblical scholars. The book written about him by Rich Wilkerson focuses on the expansion of his prosperity aspect of this, but I would like to take a moment to focus on the pain. I see him as much like most of us who deal with addiction, we delve out much pain, we are cut loose after causing all that pain, and we live daily with the pain of what we have done to others and ourselves.
Many have shared their stories with me recently of how much pain has been in their lives. But as always, we focus on the real pain reliever, the one who granted that request that he would "be free from pain". God is so much better than pain pills and Aspirin or Tylenol, he answers the whole problem , not just a partial solution.
Getting more territory or more money or more of anything is good, but it won't take away our pain, unless it is resolved with more of a relationship with Jesus. He knows excruciating pain, and he knows the answer for it!
Jabez was one of us, and he was more honorable because of it!
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Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.