And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. 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. – 1 Chr. 4:9-10 KJV
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The suddenness of the appearance of the name of Jabez in the bible is very much simliar to that of the appearance of Melchizedek the High Priest. There was no mention of his name before the bible revealed the payment of tithe to him by Abraham and unless for reference purposes, no other mention was made of him again throughout the scriptures. Likewise, the story of Jabez just slotted in between a chronicle of the lineage of Judah and with no obvious link to any of the names earlier listed, his story showed up and no other mention was made of the name after this event relating to him.
In the scripture that is the foundation of today’s devotional, he was said to be more honourable than his brothers just as it was revealed that his name was that given to him by his mother. Although it is unusual for a mother to name a child in those times, her choice of name seemed to have stuck as she claimed it was because she gave birth to him in sorrow – 1Chr. 4:9. However, despite the decision of the mother to identify him throughout his life as a child of sorrow, he took the decision to be more honourable than those who were not born in sorrow. It was the first virtue that the bible associated with Jabez but he did not just stop at being honourable, he definitely was focused on what he wanted his life to be like. It was not going to be about how his mother described it but the way he wanted it. He was also aware that only the destiny maker can successfully be the destiny changer and so approached the Almighty God who probably in recognition of the honourable personality Jabez possessed, granted his request and his fortune was changed for good.
Most people today, Christians inclusive have found themselves in the situation that Jabez was before his fortune was changed by the destiny changer. The several failures that they have recorded in life and the frustrations that have resulted there from, was the major reason why they came to Jesus Christ. They however decided to be part of the Christendom without living the Christian life. The approach of Jabez that got him success remains the best approach to achieving success with such missions and some of those major milestones in his journey to changed destiny are as follows:
1. Jabez refused to accept anyone’s conclusions about his life and that included the conclusion of the mother. It was only his own conclusion about himself that was going to matter and that was that he was not going to be a child of bitterness like his mother unconsciously wished him to be.
2. Jabez knew whom to direct his request to as he went straight to the Lord who is destiny changer. The Christian who desires the kind of intervention that the Lord made in the life of Jabez must learn to focus less on all those perceived enemies or human gods that cannot help the situation. No matter what negative role anyone may have played in the life of the Christian, such should never forget that the Almighty God is his/her creator and He only has the final say on what he/she will become. Avoid the distractions of men in prayer and remain focused on the creator if you are to change the negatives of your life.
3. Jabez was very specific about what he wanted and he stated them clearly to the Lord. He wanted the Lord not just to bless him but to bless him indeed. It was that the Lord will enlarge his coast, that the lord’s hand will be with him to keep him from evil that he may not be grieved. Remaining focused and specific in prayer remains a pre-requisite for answered prayer as it indicates spiritual focus which is necessary at such times.
4. Of utmost importance is the description of Jabez as not just only honourable but more honourable than his brothers. That probably was the foundation for his answered prayer. Despite his mother’s conclusion that he was a child born out of bitterness, he was still able to live a life that was considered honourable. To be honourable is to live a life deserving of honour, not just honour from men but honour by the Almighty God. The Christian that desires not just a change of destiny but anything for that matter from the Lord must be positioned for such honour. All the people that were honoured by the Lord from Joseph, to Daniel and even to our Lord Jesus Christ had the common denominator of remaining faithful to the Almighty God despite their adverse situation. They did not allow the challenges of life to make them stray from the path that the Almighty God had mapped out for them. They accepted God’s plan for their lives and did not allow the world to sway them into following other gods.
The Christian and indeed anyone can change undesirable parts of destiny but there will always be the need to know that it will not come accidentally or on a platter of gold. It will require immense and coordinated steps on the part of the one that desires such change as discussed earlier. May God position us all to be honoured by Him in Jesus name. Amen.