"THE PRAYER OF JABEZ"
I. JABEZ IS INTERESTING TO US FOR HIS NAME SUDDENLY APPEARS IN ALL OF THESE NAMES WE HAVE BEEN READING OF THE DESCENDANTS OF JUDAH, AND THEN THE WRITER STOPS TO GIVE US A SHORT SKETCH OF HIM.
A. We do not know any more about him than what is recorded in the two verses of our text.
B. He is not mentioned or referred to anywhere else in the Bible.
C. He suddenly appears and just as suddenly disappears.
D. We have scores of names being recited, and suddenly we have an interesting commentary given to us concerning one of those named Jabez.
E. What we know about Jabez from the text.
1. He appears to be the son of Coz.
2. He was more honorable than his brothers.
3. His mother named him Jabez which means grief or sorrow.
4. His mother said she bore him with sorrow. The grief was possibly related to circumstances of his birth, or perhaps the pregnancy. It is also possible that his father died while she was pregnant with him.
II. WE KNOW THAT JABEZ WAS A MAN OF PRAYER. HE CALLED UPON THE GOD OF ISRAEL.
A. Prayer is a God ordained means whereby we can cooperate with God in accomplishing of His purposes on the earth.
B. The purpose of prayer is never to get my will done, but to get God's will done.
C. God does not exist for my pleasure to obey my bidding. I exist for His pleasure and to obey His bidding.
D. I am well aware of the wonderful promises that have been given to us concerning prayer.
Therefore I say unto you, Whatever you desire, when you pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have them.
And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.
And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give you.
Hitherto you have asked nothing in My name: ask, and you shall receive that your joy may be full.
E. Who were these promises made to? Not to the multitudes, not to the world. But to His disciples.
F. What are the requirements for discipleship?
1. Deny self,
2. Take up your cross.
3. Follow Jesus.
G. So the person to whom these promises are made is first of all a person who has denied himself, or is selfless.
H. Most of my prayers are about myself and not concerned with the kingdom of God, but with my own personal interests.
I. God wants to get my interests aligned with His interests.
J. The eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the earth to show Himself strong on behalf on the man whose heart is perfect toward Him.
III. LOOKING AT THE PETITIONS OF THE PRAYER OF JABEZ.
A. Oh that You would bless me indeed.
1. You say, doesn't that fly in the face of what you have just said?
2. No, because it is God's desire to bless you.
Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, [and] Israel had walked in my ways!
I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.
The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: their time should have endured for ever.
I would have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied them.
3. Jesus said:
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
And it shall come to pass, if you will hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD your God, to observe [and] to do all his commandments which I command you this day, that the LORD your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth:
And all these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you will hearken unto the voice of the LORD your God.
You will be blessed in the city, and blessed in the field.
Your children will be blessed and also the fruit of the ground, and the fruit of your cattle, your cows your flocks of sheep will increase.
You will be blessed when you come in an when you go out.
4. So the blessings of God are conditional upon my hearkening unto God and walking in His ways. Obeying all His commandments, and being a part of His flock.
5. So asking God to bless me indeed, I am asking God to help me to hearken unto Him and to walk in His ways and keep all of His commandments, and to be one of His flock.
B. Enlarge my coast.
1. Lord, give me a broader vision.
a. Not just for my church, but for the whole church, the whole body of Christ.
b. Not just for my community but for the whole world.
2. We are so prone just to see and be burdened for the work that God is doing here, and not see the work that He is doing throughout the world.
C. That Your hand would be with me.
1. Lord keep Your hand on my life.
2. Let me never stray from Your hand.
3. The hand of guidance.
4. The hand of protection.
D. Keep me from evil.
1. We are living in an evil world.
2. The natural bent of our flesh is toward evil.
3. In the model prayer that Lord gave to His disciples, He included the petition, "Deliver us from evil."
E. Why he wanted to be kept from evil.
1. That it would not grieve me.
2. I see the grief and misery that evil brings into peoples lives.
3. I see that pain that evil has brought into this world.
a. What a beautiful world this would be were it not for evil.
b. Thank God we will soon see a world that has been delivered from evil.
4. This in a sense is what the President is seeking to accomplish with our military might.
a. Evil will never be conquered with guns.
b. The bible tells us not to be overcome with evil, but to overcome evil with good.
5. God said to Israel, Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupt: you have forsaken the LORD, "Why should you be stricken anymore. You're sick."
6. God said, "The way of the transgressor is hard."
7. His name means grief, God keep me from evil that I do not bring more grief to myself of those around me.
IV. WE READ IN OUR TEXT OF JABEZ, "AND GOD GRANTED HIM THAT WHICH HE REQUESTED."
1. John wrote:
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us:
And if we know that he hears what we ask, we know that He will give us the petitions that we desired of him.