With a very short appearance in the Bible, the man named Jabez might seem insignificant and not worth looking into.
But when we take a look at him, how he got his name and what were the details the Bible recorded about him, we’ll see that he actually brings us lessons we should learn and apply in our lives.
Who is Jabez and what can we learn from him? Let’s talk about that.
A short but profound appearance
Jabez’s short appearance in the Bible spans only two verses, in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. This short passage gives us some lessons to learn and things to think about.
1) A label since birth
First, we find out that Jabez’s name itself wasn’t pleasant at all. 1 Chronicles 4:9 says,
Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”
Jabez’s name, according to the footnotes in the NKJV version, literally meant “he will cause pain.” His mother probably had a difficult time giving birth to him because, as she said, “I bore him in pain.”
Think about that for a moment. Some of us suffer from being called names by the people around us. They will call us names and label us according to how they receive us.
That’s what Jabez went through. His name became a lifelong label given to him by his own mother.
Friend, if you think you are labeled wrongly, just think of Jabez whose name conjures up thoughts of his mother in pain due to him being born.
2) A man who rose up from the labels
Thankfully, despite the label or identity that was assigned to him, Jabez broke through and became “more honorable than his brothers.”
Every time Jabez was called, it was as if he was being labeled as a man who would bring nothing but pain upon the people around him. It was as if a sentence had been passed over him, that he’d always be a pain for others.
He didn’t live that way, however. Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. He rose above the label that was given him since childbirth.
This teaches us that no matter what the labels given to us, we can rise above them. How? Read the next part:
3) A man who called on God and broke through
Here’s the best part.
1 Chronicles 4:10 reveals to us how Jabez was able to break through the name that labeled him and made him a curse or a liability to others:
He called on God for help.
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)
Jabez, who probably suffered from low self-esteem caused by the label his own mother gave him, broke through the wrong identity given to him by calling on the God who made all of mankind.
In his prayer, Jabez asked God to undo and nullify the label that was given to him:
“You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!“
He prayed to God to have his name countered. He prayed to God to have the ungodly and negative declarations over his life negated and canceled.
And God, being merciful and gracious, “granted him what he requested.”
This should bring us great hope, friends. No matter what the people around us say, no matter how the world labels us, God is able to turn things around and bless us.
While the world wants us down and out and become liabilities to others, God can lift us up and cause us to be a blessing to all who come in contact with us.
Jabez’s short appearance in the Bible gives us hope, that no matter how much the world, even the people we love, try to destroy us, God can bless us and cause us to be a blessing to all.
Republished from ChristianToday.com