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May 18

1 Chronicles 2:42-55, Luke 9:57-62

Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:

1 Chron. 4:9-10: Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 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.

Two verses of this section tell the story of one man, and of how he, by prayer and obedience, obtained the favor of God. Incidentally, the story is full of interest. In all likelihood Jabez was a nephew of Caleb. For some reason his mother had given him this name, which means “bringeth sorrow.” Perhaps his knowledge of the meaning of the name had cast a shadow over all his life. Dr. W. E. Barnes says, “The man with the ill-omened name staved off ill-fortune by his prayer.” This would seem to be perfectly correct in the light of the fact that in his prayer he asked “that it be not to my sorrow!”

The chief beauty of the story is its revelation of God’s interest in individuals. While through these genealogies, and indeed through all the history, we are occupied with those connected with government and the procession of events leading to universal issues, it is refreshing to be halted by the story of one man who took his need directly to God and obtained the answer of God’s grace.

(G. Campbell Morgan, An Exposition of the Whole Bible (Fleming H. Revell Company, MCMLIX), p. 159)

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