Praying Like Jabez (1 Chronicles 3-4)

Scripture reading – 1 Chronicles 3-4

The title of this book is Chronicles, and 1 Chronicles 3-4 gives us a genealogical record of the royal lineages of kings, and the tribes of Israel. There are some notable names in our Scripture reading; however, the majority carry little meaning to us. Nevertheless, we can take joy in this: All were important enough to the LORD that He insured their names would be remembered forever!

1 Chronicles 3 – The Lineage of King David

The names of the sons of David are recorded in 1 Chronicles 3:1-9. Six sons were born to him in Hebron, and their names are listed in 1 Chronicles 3:1-4. David’s firstborn son, Amnon, is most prominent, and likely a name you recognize (3:1),Absalom, the third son of David also carries his place in Old Testament history (3:3). These two men will have major roles in our study of David’s life and reign (3:1-4).

1 Chronicles 3:5-9 gives us the names of thirteen additional sons born to David (3:8), and a daughter named Tamar, who was the sister of Absalom (3:9). The most well-known of David’s genealogical record was Solomon, son of Bathsheba, and David’s heir to the throne of Israel (3:5).

1 Chronicles 3:10-16 is the record of the kingly lineage of David’s heirs, who ruled Judah from Rehoboam, son of Solomon, to Jeconiah who was taken from the throne to Babylon. 1 Chronicles 3:17-24 gives us the royal lineage born during the Babylonian captivity (3:17-24).

1 Chronicles 4 – The Sons of the Tribe of Judah and Simeon

1 Chronicles 4:1-23 gives us the genealogical record of Judah, the fourth born son of Jacob, who was the father of the royal tribe. David, his son Solomon, and Jesus Christ were all of the tribe of Judah (the virgin Mary, and her husband Joseph were also of Judah’s lineage).

1 Chronicles 4:1 reads, “the sons of Judah,” and then proceeds to record the names of five men. Only Pharez (2:4) was a son of Judah, but Hezron was Judah’s grandson (4:1), and therefore named with the others as sons in a direct line of descent (4:2). Other notable mentions of Judah’s lineage were skilled craftsmen (4:11-23) that lived in the “valley of Charashim (4:14). There were also weavers, who were said to have “wrought fine linen” (4:21). Potters and gardeners are also named among the men of Judah (4:22-23).

The lineage of Simeon, the second son of Jacob, is recorded, and the list includes the cities and villages assigned to the tribe (4:24-43).

Closing thought: Consider with me the testimony of a man named Jabez of whom we read, “Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow” (4:9). We are not told why his mother named him, “Jabez,” a “man of sorrow,” but it is not who he was, or the cloud of sorrow under which he was born that is essential.

Jabez was a man of prayer (4:10a), and he “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.”

What a powerful, heartfelt prayer! (4:10) He prayed for God to bless him, and He did! He prayed for God to prosper him, and the LORD answered his prayer. He prayed the hand of God would rest upon him, and keep him from evil, “and God granted him that which he requested” (4:10). Jabez prayed for four things, and the LORD answered his prayer!

In his letter to believers, James wrote: “Ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2). Believer, for what are you praying?

Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith