And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 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.
The first eight chapters of the book of I Chronicles informs us of the genealogies of God’s people beginning with Adam and Eve in chapter one. Chapter four is similar to the rest of the eight chapters in revealing genealogy without emphasizing much upon an individual or family. However, by the time the reader gets to verse nine of chapter four the list of names comes to a screeching halt briefly while the Holy Spirit describes to us the character and faith of a man by the name of Jabez.
Jewish writers agree that this Jabez was a doctor of law and possibly ran a school of the Jewish scribes. He is complimented in the verses above as being honourable, even more than his brethren. After being informed of the character of Jabez, (which is important to God), it is revealed to us the faith of this man Jabez. Many of God’s people indeed fall short of asking God for themselves. Somehow folks believe it inappropriate to ask God to bless them. We do pray for others and rightly so. But this man Jabez saw nothing wrong with asking God to bless him. Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed. Could it be that God would bless the individual who makes such a request? The answer is yes, but look at the conditions that Jabez placed upon his request. God did not have to put these conditions forth, Jabez did. First he said, that thine hand might be with me. Jabez asked to be blessed indeed; but not at the expense of losing contact with the blesser. Jabez emphasized in his request to God that no matter how much the blessing, let thine hand be with me. The second condition that Jabez put upon his own prayer request was that God wouldest keep me from evil. Truly the soul that loves what God loves and hates what God hates is sure to get his prayers answered. God despises evil primarily because of how it hurts people. But it was not only Jabez agreeing with God concerning evil but also depending on God to keep him from evil. Only God can do this; and so because Jabez pleaded for God to keep him from evil he clearly expressed a willingness to allow God to have dominion over his life. Many folks agree with God concerning evil, but have not submitted to God in allowing Him to prevent them from evil. Jabez even finished his request by expressing that evil is grievious to him. It pleases God for his people to not only despise evil, but to also recognize how grievous evil is to their lives. And at the end of the verse we find God granting his request, once again proving that God is not only the hearer of prayers, but the answerer as well.