24.1.06

The Prayer of Jabez

A popular book, The Prayer of Jabez does nothing but promote greed, selfishness and materialism by using a single Scripture. I would like to look at Jabez in contrast to another Scripture in the book of James.
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, "Because I bore him with pain."
Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!" And God granted him what he requested. (1 Chronicles 4.9-10 NASB)

You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4.2-4 NASB)


Jabez was given what he asked for by a Sovereign God Who can do whatever He wills. Why did God give Jabez his desire? Well, first, He wanted to. Secondly, Jabez was of nobel character, and Jabez wanted God's presence in his life. So, does this give us a principle everyone can follow? No. God is not locked into a "fairness doctrine." He does not have to give me what He gives you.

Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."
What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!
For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH."
So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"
On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?
Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? (Romans 9.13-21 NASB)

This Scripture shows us that God can and will do as He pleases. It is His right as God! This is a powerful Scripture for the predestination argument, but it also shows that God can bless one person and not another. He does not have to expand my boarders because He did so for Jabez. I also guarantee you that Jabez was not asking selfishly or out of pride.

Going back to James, we often hear "you have not because you ask not" before some greasy agent of the devil on TBN tells us to ask God for "the desires of our hearts." Unfortunately, they forget the next verse: "You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures." (James 4.3 NASB) So does the author of Jabez.

Being a Christian is not about "me." It is about JESUS. If it is not, you might as well begin ordaining homosexuals and atheists. Nothing matters anymore. The author and adherents of the pseudo-Gospel of Jabez should repent before Hebrews 10.31 (NASB) comes alive to them: "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

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