Thursday, August 5, 2021

 Old Testament Ezra spotlights the prayer of a man desperate for a new future.

I Chronicles 4:10 Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” (NASB)

Out of the numerous births and deaths recorded in Chronicles, here is a nugget to remind you — all scripture is given by God for our benefit!  Little is known about Jabez.  What you can read is that he was more honorable than his brethren and that his mother bore him in pain.  Presumably, this is a house in which there is some level of dishonor and/or dysfunction.  Jabez responds with a bold, pro-active, prayer!

He yearns for a sense of purpose — a reason for being — so he seeks God’s blessing!  Next, Jabez asks for God to “enlarge my territory”.  What does that mean?  If you feel defined by a lack of opportunity or maybe a habit that has held you captive: cry out to God to remove past hindrances and open the door to a divine plan for your future!  Jabez longs for God’s steady, sure hand to guide him into the great unknown.  His prayer is that God will overrule the past; giving him a clean slate with empowerment and protection from the evil that has dogged his past.