What’s the Big Deal with Jabez?

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” Now 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!” And God granted him what he requested.

-Prayer of Jabez, 1 Chron 4:9-10 NASB

This little prayer, that spontaneously appears in the overwhelming genealogies of 1 Chronicles. It doesn’t have any references. It doesn’t mention who Jabez’s father was so he may not have even been a part of the genealogy. Seems a bit insignificant doesn’t it? I’m sure it has some significance because God granted him his prayer, but there’s not much you can take from the passage personally. Or is there!?

Well, not really. It’s a neat little snippet in the bible. I’m sure Jabez was a sweet dude, but how is that a book about this prayer had such an influence in the Christian community? It’s amazing how a book about this passage was even able to become a #1 bestseller in the New York Times! Bruce Wilkinson’s The Prayer of Jabez sold millions of copies!

This may be old news. My mother, a renowned fundy, couldn’t even remember the significance of the book, yet even today people are swayed by such miniscule passages like little Jabez. At the core, Christians today will so easily seek ways to benefit self!! Jabez’s prayer was in fact about material gain, however, God found favor in his prayer. Why did he? We can’t know for sure because the passage is just there. A random prayer in the middle of a genealogy, a guy who was only mentioned once throughout the bible.

Why do you think Christians today are so appealed by books that promote self benefit? They seek ways to grow spiritually by themselves rather then by building relationships and actually giving a crap about the people in their Bodies of Christ? Why build your house on the sand rather than on the foundation of the rock? The things of this world will pass away, but the things we store up in heaven will not pass away…

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