Jabez: One More Honorable Than His Brethren

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Jabez was the child of sorrow; his name was the standing memento of the bitterness in which his mother bare him (1 Chron. 4). But he "was more honorable than his brethren"- not that he was honored by them or by his nation, but the Spirit of God registered him as one of God's honourables. And why? Because his heart was toward God; he honored the God of Israel and called upon His name. He has no record but the sorrow of his conception, and his prayer to Jehovah. His parentage, his genealogy, his locality—all are denied us. He sprang out of Judah, and was closely connected with Bethlehem—a passing shadow thus of One that was to come. More we do not know, except the breathings of his heart Godward. He cries, with deep earnestness and with touching pathos to the God of Israel, "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!"
His resource is in God, nor has he any other. It is He whom he counts upon for blessing indeed, and to enlarge his coast, and to give him His presence, and to keep him from the evil. He has learned, at least, that every good gift, and every perfect gift, is from above. This alone he values, the gift which comes from God; and this alone he dreads, the evil which God hates. His heart was right with God. He was in fellowship with the heart of God; he honored the God of Israel, and God honored him, and he being dead yet speaketh.
"And God granted him that which he requested," for he met the heart of God and refreshed His spirit in a dry and thirsty land more than the hosts of Israel; and the Spirit of the Lord has given an eternal testimony of his words; the child of his mother's sorrow is ennobled by the God of Israel, and his honor shall never decay!
Now if this be God's answer to one of His ancients of Judah, may we not gather from it how true He must ever be to His own immediate word—"Them that honor Me I will honor"? Every breathing of our hearts by the Spirit of God is precious in His ear; every cup of cold water given in His name; every service rendered to His saints; every sigh over that which grieves Him; every thrill of joy for what brings glory to Him; every step trodden, or word spoken in furtherance of interests dear to His heart is written with an eternal pen and treasured in the archives of heaven, nor will He fail to requite even those who think upon His name
(Mal. 3:1616Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. (Malachi 3:16)). Children of sorrow we may indeed be, of whom the world has no record, and knows neither whence we come nor whither we are bound, but if our hearts be in the secret of the Lord, we are not only of the royal line, like Jabez, but, like Jabez, also of the line of faith; our requests are answered, our record is on high for eternity, heavenly resources are ours in their richest plenitude, and an opened heaven will soon receive us into its bosom. Then shall be fully displayed what only faith accepts now—the immutability of that word, "Them that honor Me I will honor."