1 Chronicles 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.”

May 21st, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Jabez is an obscure figure mentioned only here in the Bible, but he prayed a prayer worth every person’s attention and study. We notice first the summary statement about his prayer: God granted it! Why did God agree to what Jabez asked? What was the reason for God’s blessing? When someone chooses to obey God, the result is that God is excited to do good things for them. There is also another fundamental reason why God blesses His people. David writes of it in Psalm 67:1–2:

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us,
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

This is the underlying reason God blesses our lives now with His benefits and love; so that the watching world will see it and desire the same for themselves. Notice the psalmist is not saying, “Bless me so that I can be comfortable,” or even, “Bless me so that I can bless others.” Certainly God does bless and gift us so that we might serve and bless others, but still, that is not the underlying, fundamental reason for God’s blessing. God blesses us foremost so that we can display, bring attention to, put on view, who God really is to those who do not know Him. We are blessed so that His goodness, mercy, and love will be recognized and desired by a watching world.

“LORD, bless us this day that others might see that blessing and ask us about the God we serve.”