The Heart Of Jabez

L. Campbell Evans

1 Chronicles 4: (KJV)

V.9: And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. v.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.

Both these verses begin with "And Jabez. . ." 'And' is one of the biggest words anywhere, for that which follows always adds to what has been given with the expectation of more. The context of these two verses is increase or the reproducing of oneself and gives us the 'backdrop' for this parable, for such it is to us today.

Jabez's natural character is found in his name which means 'to be sorrowful' or 'to grieve'. His mother was very honest and that attribute had been passed on to her son. She named him 'Jabez' because she must have felt 'down' at the time of his birth. She was possibly hurting and disappointed with life and didn't see a great future for her newborn son. He would no doubt, in her estimation, have a hard life trying to follow the Lord and in the end, just dying and going to heaven!

There are many spiritual Jabez's among God's people today. 'Mother-Church' has brought them forth without any great worthwhile expectation or captivating vision for their lives, for sorrow and grieving always starts with disappointment or lack of incentive quite often accompanied with periodic sighs and forlorn feelings of 'what's the point?' or 'there must be something more than what we've been told!' However, this parable of Jabez in these verses declare that such an average hopeless expectation need not be. God had placed in this man and his contemporaries a cry to break out of this rut-like expectation of life. All men have the same seed of life within themselves. Jabez had it effervescing in him which made him 'more honourable than his brethren'. Jabez couldn't be honest with his true self and remain passive and be a silent 'pew-warmer'!

The Hebrew word translated 'honourable' means 'to be weighty'. This implies that he had an inbuilt yearning that placed higher, weightier expectations on himself. Jabez felt something happening within his innermost being! Could this be God stirring within? He had to resolve this situation . . . for yes, he certainly wanted more action, but that demanded more assurance of his calling in life. He was willing to be no longer as his brethren in the company or fellowship of a sorrowing 'Mother-Church'! He wanted all that God had for him whatever the cost! This 'son' desired to be fully equipped so that he could experience L ife to the full. Such a life would include relating to others especially those desiring the same release.

The day came when 'enough was enough'. He had arrived at 'the end of his rope' . . . it was time to rise up and act upon what he felt deep within.

He knew what to do. He called on the God of Israel the Living God of a living people. His name was Elohim and He was the aspect of the one true God that was covenanted with His creation to bring them all through to His purpose. . . Jabez included! God's purpose of the ages has never changed from the moment that He shared it with us. . . "let Us make man in our image and likeness and. . .". God has been and still is changing His called-out ones from glory to glory into His image".

The word 'call' has varying emphases. In verse 9, Jabez's mother 'called' or pronounced his name over him when he was born. Verse 10's 'called' means that he 'cried out'. It was not a silent prayer or a soft spoken whisper, but an explosive cry that he couldn't contain any more. A cry that broke through any inhibitions that he had, a cry that no longer cared what others might think. He knew what he needed and he did something about it. With no more procrastination, he cried unto the God of Israel.

His cry was heard by others who made a note of it. It consisted of a double request coupled with a motive. His deepest desire came 'out of the abundance of his heart'. "I want Your ability, Your resources, Your authority, Your touch to be with me". He didn't pray those exact words but this cry is the content of the desiring to be blessed . . 'be happy, be envied, be spiritually prosperous with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favour and salvation, regardless of one's external condition' (Amplified Bible for 'bless'). The scripture, 'for me to live is Christ' must have been in his spirit.

At first glance Jabez's request appears to be selfish, but really his weighty cry was to be so blessed with the outpouring of God's anointing and blessing in an ever-increasing way, so that he could be a real 'blesser' of others. This blessing that he asked for just had to be 'good news' that would liberate those that were bound. His gospel or good news had to be something that an increasing number of people would want or needed to hear.

Each one today needs to hear that there is a God who brought them into this world and Who loves them with an unconditional love yes, even to the point of dying in their place that every one of them might experience His life. According to Galations, the gospel of Christ is the good news that God's desire is to reveal His son in each for He has brought them forth for that purpose. Christ in you (NOW), the hope of glory .

Jabez's cry went up in an utterance of 'deep calling unto deep'. His prayer was to the God of Israel. This could be to the God who changed Jacob to Israel or to the God of the whole nation. Either way his vision was large. "O God, enlarge my capacity, enlarge my vision, enlarge my whole being . . . yes enlarge me! I desperately need a blessing that will enable me to share the good news of salvation for all with my brethren, my mother and those around me perishing without a vision. and with I need added assurance that You are with me in it. I want to be absolutely sure that I speak with Your voice and authority. Lord, if You don't do it, I will not waste my time going through the motions of it with lifeless rituals".

"And Lord . . . one other thing, please! . . ." Jabez knew what he was like when God wasn't predominant in his thoughts. He desperately needed to be kept from the evil of unbelief. He so wanted to be a '24-7' believing-believer! So many of his contemporaries did not believe that which Almighty God had said about Himself and about them. Man's carnal and evil substitutions had replaced God's words. Jabez was convinced that he had to be kept from such evil.

If Jabez failed to go with God and His thoughts and ways, then it would cause him grief , sorrow and disappointment because he would simply revert back to his old Adamic nature. Having tasted of the true gospel of the Kingdom of God, the thought of going back to the old 'believe or go to hell' gospel, would be exceptionally grieving to him and also to those who were devoid of hope.

Jabez may have cried out in desperation, but one thing is for sure, he meant every word of it as though his whole life depended upon being heard . . . and he was heard. God granted Jabez his request.

O how thankful Jabez must have been to know that God had heard him. When God specifically blesses someone, his life will change and the spirit-God-life in him will be released to be seen. The one who is blessed will progressively reveal the will of God. Jabez received a new nature and found himself in the will of God and becoming the expression of that Sovereign will.

The same cry as Jabez had is in each one of God's children. The challenge from these two verses goes forth for each one to be real and they will then be known as more honourable genuine all through! Will you truly surrender and receive the revelation of what He is like? . . . and believe what He says about Himself? When you become willing, He will enable you to grasp His truth. This is the will of God that you believe on Him . . .(John 6:29). Likewise what He says about you and this blessing. This understanding only comes by revelation and will keep one from evil, carnal thinking. You will notice progress in this direction when you no longer say to each new thing from God, "Yes, but . . ."

When praying and identifying with this prayer of Jabez, be sure it does not become a gimmick or ritual or that you have a self-centred motive. God does not primarily want to improve your humanhood but rather exchange your life for His which will bring about the change into His image and Likeness so that you will fully express Him and be a part of that company of sons who will reach out and bless all the families of the earth.

God bless all you 'Jabezes' as you hunger and thirst after righteousness . . . for the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the holy Spirit.

Lucinda Evans - Cupbearer