Friday, July 6, 2012

The Prayer of Jabez: Jabez Exceeded in Christ

"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. (1 Chronicles 4: 9-10)

As mentioned in a previous posting, a proper rending of verse nine indicates that Jabez "became more honorable" than his brethren.

Now, Jabez is a type of our Lord, Savior, and Benefactor Jesus Christ.

The name "Jabez" means "sorrow" according to Bruce Wilkinson. comments that "Jabez" is actually of uncertain origin. In this wise, He is like Jesus, our High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek:

"For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

"And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,

"Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

"For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." (/Hebrews 7: 14-17)

Wilkinson even elaborates at length about the stinging irony of a child being named "sorrow" or "pain". One name-origin site cites that "Jabez" means "born in pain." Imagine indeed what that young boy must have endured, going through life being called, "Come here, sorrow. Sorrow, take this to your mother."

But in fact another Man, Jesus Christ, did live this humiliation. God set aside His divinity, became a man and suffered for us:

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (Philippians 2: 5-9)

He also took our pains, took our hurts, became the personification of our sorrows. Isaiah prophesied:

"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not." (Isaiah 53: 3)

If He who has endured so much pain, sorrow, humiliation, and trauma still enjoyed the favor of God,
f he could ask for the greatest blessings, if he could ask for supreme protection, if he could ask for God to extend then all the more can we believers trust that God will answer our prayers:

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)

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