June 26, 2107

Dear Friends:

I Chronicles 4:9 Honorable 

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain."

Many people pray the prayer of Jabez every day (as I also do) expecting the “miracle prayer” to cause God to bless them and make them successful, etc.

But as is often the case with bible verses, we often quote them out of context or we forget the preceding or proceeding admonitions. This is a good example.

Jabez’s prayer is as follows: Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from the evil one." And God answered his request”.

But BEFORE God answered the prayer, please note that Jabez was a man of honor. The word honorable has to do with people and actions that are honest, fair, and worthy of respect.  God answered the prayer of Jabez because he was an honorable man. Not a perfect  man, but a man that chose to seek God and His Kingdom first—-which includes being honest, fair and worthy of respect. 

Am I honest?  Do I not only tell the truth, but do I also paint a picture with my words that represents truth?   Am I fair? That is, do I do what is right no matter who is watching and who is involved, or am I always looking out for my best interests?  And am I worthy of the respect of others?  Some respect is innate, to be sure, but there is a respect among my neighbors, fellow workers and associates that is earned by the way I live, the way I treat others, the way I keep my promises, the way I do what I say and the way I mean what I live and preach.  It’s called “character”.

Yes, God answered the prayer of a man rightly related to others and rightly related to God. 

Am I as honorable as Jabez? If I am, I can pray expecting the same response from God!  But if I am not, there is a Savior that is ready to make me honorable and show me the way of becoming a new man—set apart and holy, as Jabez was.



dean   barley

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