Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.
This is a favorite passage of mine. Smack dab in the middle of the geneology of the Israelites, this little bit of information, a story if you will, is placed. God had to have this person mentioned. His mother states that she was in pain when she gave birth to him. And God wants us to know that Jabez is better than his brothers. He prayed to God for safety, blessings and bigger area to own. Seems a little selfish to me, now that I think about it. But God liked this guy. Jabez must have followed God's will and done all he could to be the best person he could be. The last sentence says it call. 'And God granted his request.'
It's kinda cool to pray for blessings and safety, even to have your area expanded. More land, more work, more touching lives. He didn't really pray for money, though the expansion of his territory would seem to be wealth. He asked to be kept from harm so he would not have pain. Would you think about asking for that? Maybe he was in some pain. Maybe he had seen others suffer and didn't want to go through that.
Anyway, Jabez was specifically mentioned in the middle of all the clans and "the father of...". An interesting thing is that his mother states that she was in pain when she gave birth to him. Was that labor pain or some other kind of pain? Did she not have labor pains with all her other kids? Apparently this pain was worth mentioning. I think may she wouldn't let him forget he caused her pain and that is why he asked God to keep him free from pain.
I like that. I usually don't pray to keep me pain-free, but to keep other's without pain. I prayed for Dad while he was going through the radiation and chemo, Allie when she was having attacks, my friend who had surgery and is having more surgery next week. I pray with the same faith Jabez had and I know that God grants my requests too.