“Jabez called to the God of Israel: If only you would bless me…” 1 Chronicles 4:10a Holman Christian Standard Bible
The word Bless is like the word love in our daily conversations. Both are used in many ways to describe a variety of meanings. We say the blessing for our meals, we ask God to bless our families, often the headliner at Christian concerts will pronounce “God Bless,” we hear it used on answering machines, we say it when someone sneezes. We hear and use the word so often we can easily forget or lose the sense of the word bless as being special.
Historically, the receiving of the Blessing was a momentous occasion filled with ceremony and meaning. If we could be present when the patriarch of the family passed on the Blessing of the Birthright we would be exposed to the power of blessing. When the Blessing of Birthright was placed on the eldest son he now became the Patriarch; he was responsible for the entire family. He was to care for each one, making sure they had food and clothing. He chose where they would live; he decided with whom to make alliances, made treaties, and to him came the burden of being Father.
The Birthright was such an important blessing that Jacob was willing to “buy” it from his brother Esau, even knowing it wasn’t Esau’s to sell. Yes, Jacob knew this, and that is why he and Rebekah panicked when Isaac called Esau to prepare the meal Isaac liked best. This could mean only one thing, Isaac was ready to give the Blessing of Birthright to Esau, the firstborn, as it was his by right of birth. So mother and son figuratively and literally cooked up a plan to deceive Isaac and steal the blessing, the birthright.
God had already promised Jacob would receive the Blessing of Birthright, but rather than wait on God, Rebekah and Jacob took matters into their own hands.
Every time anyone decides God needs help in fulfilling His promises it leads to disastrous results. The promises are fulfilled, often with consequences which need not have been experienced, as Jacob and Rebekah were going to find out for themselves. Because of their lies, when Jacob fled for his life he never saw his mother again, and Rebekah never saw her most loved son again, either.
When Esau returned, Isaac realized the deception too late; there was nothing to be done. Once the Blessing of Birthright was bestowed there was no recourse. It was final. An anguished cry is ripped from Esau as he begs his father for a Blessing, but too late. Isaac has none to give. One result of the deception of Rebekah and Jacob was the feud Esau carried against Jacob, a feud with the promise of death.
I have absolutely no idea where Jabez fit in his family birth order. What we know is he was considered an honorable man. His mother felt he caused more pain in his birth than his brothers, and Jabez wasn’t afraid to seek a blessing from God. Likely, he wasn’t the first born as he was asking for a special blessing from God.
The other day as I was out for my daily walk, I found myself contemplating the circumstances in which people find themselves. Often from the outside looking in we might see others as successful, having financial security, happily married, home owners, and/or once again setting out on some vacation adventure, and we wonder what happened to us. OK, I wonder what happened to me! It isn’t so much wanting what others have, because if that is the issue then I will also have to accept their life. Since one never knows what another’s life is really like, I will pass on having their “stuff.” I was thinking, “Why doesn’t my brain work like a Financial Wizard’s, or like a Real Estate Mogul, maybe even a Captain of Industry, or even One on the cutting edge of Philosophy, etc.!” Is that what Jabez was seeking from God? Was he asking to be “all that” in every way, or was he seeking a deeper blessing?
There are times when I find it difficult not to be envious of those who appear to have life on a silver platter, or maybe a gold one. It would be nice to never be worried about money ever again. I would be happy knowing there was no way the bills couldn’t be paid, there would never be another “what gets paid first” dance! Can you imagine never needing to ask what anything costs? Whatever the need, you are able to meet that need without any worries.
Here is where reality comes crashing down on my day dreaming. I don’t need to worry now about the needs of life being met. I am just as God wanted me to be, and I am becoming just what He wants me to become!
I believe it’s all about paradigm shifts, adjusting expectations, asking God to “Bless us indeed” and knowing He will and does indeed bless! All of my worries center on me and what I think will happen, what I imagine might possibly be, maybe! So how crazy is that? Do I hear you say it is insanity speaking? Yes, I know, I agree!
God offers to each and every one of us the Gift of Blessing. We may come to Him asking for His blessing, for His Blessing. If it’s His blessing to give, then He decides what the blessing is, what it looks like, how it is given, what it accomplishes, and when it is activated.
We never control the blessing.
And if we try to make the blessing happen, the results are often less than desirable. Remember, God completes the blessing. He also allows the circumstances resulting from our meddling to stand, and the result of interfering with God’s plans may have an impact for generations.
God wants us to come to Him with confidence asking Him to “Bless us indeed.” He wants us to know His love, His grace, His providential care, His passion for us, and His intimacy with us. He knows us and He knows our needs. We need to know we can ask and He will do what is best according to His Perfect Will. Ultimately, that is what we really want from Him, and what is absolutely best for all concerned. Grace is all about God giving us what we need, when we need, because we need, and that’s love, His Love.
“Casting the [a]whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, [b]once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you [c]watchfully.” 1 Peter 5:7 Amplified Bible
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]