Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:9-10

Such a brief account of Jabez’s life and so much we don’t know. In what way was Jabez more honourable? What was the particular pain he wanted to be free from?

However, there is also much we do know. He cried out to God, which tells us he was humble and poor in spirit since he acknowledged his need for God. He asked God for what he had already promised his people. God had allotted each of the Israelite tribes an area, but it was up to each tribe to spread out and possess the land. By asking God to bless him and enlarge his territory, Jabez was asking to be enabled to do what God had planned. He also stated his dependency on God by saying, “Let your hand be with me,” and asked for his protection.

We can respond to God in the same way. We can acknowledge our need for God and have a humble attitude. We know God’s promise to his New Covenant believers is to impact the world, by being salt and light to our communities (Matthew 5:13-16). We can ask God to enable us to do this. We can affirm our dependency on God and ask for protection.

God was able to bless Jabez because he had the right attitude and believed God’s promises. This is true for us if we have the same attitude.