Blessing and Honor
In these difficult days when so many are stressed by their circumstances it is easy to forget that it is still God’s plan to bless His people.
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 hand 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."
(1 Chronicles 4:9-10)
The name Jabez means affliction or sorrow, from an unused root probably meaning to grieve. His mother called his name Jabez, saying, "because I bore him with sorrow"; either with sorrow for her husband being dead, or by reason of very sharp pains she endured at the birth of him.
He was another Ben-Oni. Ben-Oni meaning Son of my sorrow.
Genesis 35:16-18 "Then they journeyed from Bethel. And when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel labored in childbirth, and she had hard labor. Now it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said to her, 'Do not fear; you will have this son also.' And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-Oni; but his father called him Benjamin."
Rachel called her son Ben-Oni but His father called him Benjamin, the Son of the Right Hand.
It doesn’t matter what man has said about you, it doesn’t matter what your environment or your circumstances say about you.
The issue is what has your Father said about you?
Everything around you may speak of weakness, failure, of insignificance, of sorrow and despair, but what has your Father said about you?
Psalm 68:13 "Though you lie down among the sheepfolds, You will be like the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold."
Though we may be surrounded by ashes, and brokenness, and confusion and despair, we are not what we are surrounded by.
Not all things are as they appear. A mischievous child may be a prophet. A crippled beggar may be royalty in disguise as Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan. A carpenter may be a king.
1 Chronicles 4:9 "And Jabez was more honorable than his brothers..."
Jabez was more deserving of honor, more responsible, more dependable, more committed, more trustworthy, more devoted.
It was not because things were made any better or easier for him, but so that he could fully discover and use what was available to him.
True honor is not in what a person has, but in the character of the one who has it.
1 Chronicles 4:9 "And Jabez was more honorable than his brothers..."
This means that Jabez excelled above those of his kindred, his tribe, those of resemblance.
This is a characteristic that God would have in all of his children, the desire, ambition, and effort to be the best that they can be.
This desire, ambition, personal effort, and application will place you in a more honorable position than many of your tribe.
1 Chronicles 4:10 "...that Your hand 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."
This does not just mean give me more, pour it on me Lord. This speaks of enlargement in your circle of influence, your sphere of ministry, your place of responsibility.
"That Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!"
Jabez understood that if you do not keep God first in your life even the things that should bless you will become a source of grief.
A blessing is only a blessing as long as it points you back, and keeps you close, to the One who gave it. When blessings are an end in themselves, they cease to be a blessing and ultimately will bring grief into your life.
"And God granted him what he requested."
Increase was not Jabez’ idea, increase is God’s plan.
It is Gods will that we increase. It is Gods will that we increase in wisdom and knowledge, and that we prosper and multiply.
Deuteronomy 6:3 "Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you -- 'a land flowing with milk and honey."
Job 8:7 "Though your beginning was small, yet your latter end would increase abundantly."
Ps 115:14 "May the LORD give you increase more and more, you and your children."
Prosperity is not a rebellion against dependence upon God, prosperity is the rewards of life lived in dependence and recognition of God. Prosperity is having sufficient resources to accomplish your God given assignment.
Prosperity is the will of God.
Some people get nervous when they hear the word “prosperity” because they think that it only refers to money or great worldly riches. However, spiritual prosperity really means to be happy, Holy, healthy, and at peace with nothing missing or broken. True prosperity is having enough resources to fulfill your destiny with enough left over to help others fulfill their destiny as well.
3 John 1:2 "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers."
Psalm 1:3 "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper."
2 Chronicles 20:20 "Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe his prophets, you shall prosper."
Deuteronomy 29:9 "Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do."
It Blesses God When You Prosper.
Psalm 35:27 "Let the LORD be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant."
Job 36:11 "If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures."
Psalm 118:25 "Save now, I pray, O LORD: O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity."
The devil hates to see Gods people prosper
Psalm 112:1-3 "Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man that fears the LORD, who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches will be in his house: and his righteousness endures forever."
Prosperity is not a miracle or a mystery, it is the result of obedience to the principles of sowing and reaping.
2 Corinthians 9:6 "But this I say, 'He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully."
2 Corinthians 9:10 "Now may he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness."
God granted His request. God wants to prosper you, that is not the question. The question is, can He trust you?
With prosperity and blessing comes greater responsibility.
Can You Stand to be Blessed?
Deuteronomy 8:11-14 "Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest -- when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage."
Deuteronomy 8:17 "Then you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth."
This is one of the greatest tests of Godly character, can you stand to be blessed.
When we don’t have anything we lean on the Lord, we trust in the Lord, we depend on the Lord, but what about when the blessing comes?
There are two scenarios that are very opposite and the one you choose is the one that will determine whether you can stand to be blessed or not.
#1 Jabez who wanted to be blessed, but he wanted the blessing under the guiding, and protecting hand of the Lord.
#2 The prodigal son who wanted to be blessed without the fathers hand, he wanted his blessing his way.
Which one describes you?
If you, like Jabez, want the Lords hand connected to the blessing guiding and directing, instructing and correcting, then you are blessing material.
In the Father's love,