HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF JABEZ? Check out 1 Chronicles 4 buried among some of the most intimidating chapters in the bible. The first nine chapters of this history book are made up of genealogies. The writer is tracing the official Jewish family tree from Adam through thousands of years to the present, about 500 BC.  In mid-litany, the chronicler stops.  One name deserves special comment. The briefest of biographies unfolds. In just two verses-9 and 10-we learn everything the Bible has to say about this man, Jabez:  “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain.’

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your had would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what He requested.”

There it is, the story of a man who started with almost nothing, but gloomy prospects, cried out a simple prayer, and ended up a man of honor in the eyes of God.

Why is this minibiography so compelling? For one thing, in Jabez’s story we find a record of his personal transformation. We see beginning, middle, and end. We even learn why and how his radical turnaround happened.



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