Oh, That You Would Bless Me!

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1 Chronicles 4: 10 Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border[1]

 

This week, I am preaching three sermons based upon different aspects of the “Jabez Prayer.” In Hebrew, the name Jabez means, “Makes me sorrowful.” This is the name that his mother gave him because her pregnancy and delivery of him caused her pain. However, even with such a name to label him for life, Jabaz live a life in stark contrast to the title given to him. He utters a prayer to the Lord that has become one of the immortal prayers through the centuries. So much so, the prayer he utters bears his name, the “Jabez Prayer.”

Last Sunday I preached on the second half of verse 10 of 1 Chronicles 4, where Jabez prays that God would “Enlarge my border.” In this sermon, which is also in a previous blog post, I entitled the message, “A Year of Increase.” The direction of that message, which was a message for the first Sunday in the New Year centered on a prayer for potential: “Increase my border or territory.

Tomorrow at noon, I will preach a sermon entitled, “O, That You Would Bless me” which is based on the first part of verse 10. This coming Sunday, my message will focus on the last part of the Jabez Prayer: and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from hurt and harm!” And God granted what he asked[2]

Back to Oh, that you would bless me. To be blessed is an amazing thing. The blessing of God is full and free. There are blessings we seek and other blessings that just fall into our lap. Several years ago, Letrice Wood and her husband, Wallace asked me and Denise if we would be willing to serve as Godparents for their newborn son, Jacob. Denise and I were just settling into the “Empty nest”, and being what I would describe as “Nurturers,” without a lot of thought we happily said, “Yes.” Jacob has an older sister, so we have scooped her up with Jacob as a package deal. I mention Jacob and Morgan because during the Christmas holiday season, Denise found a show at the Musical Hall in Detroit which had live human beings with colored lights on their heads and bodies to ack out Christmas themes. The staging and lit up costumes were clever and kept me awake. Before the show, we had a little time, so we went to the Layfette Coney Island for a hot dog and chili-fries. We also took Joyce, who is a cousin of Denise. Over the years we have gotten to know Jacob and Morgan better and they seem to be getting a little more comfortable with us. I had a ball. We took the People Mover Train to the Music Hall, walked a couple of blocks in the snow, sat through the show and then when it was over, Denise asked Jacob if he would like me to purchase a “Light Saber” for him. He lit up and said yes. Some members of the cast were happy to pose with him for a photo. As I looked at Jacob and his sister, Morgan, I thought to myself, “What a blessing to be connected to these children at both this stage of their lives and our lives.”

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So, the blessing of God comes in many forms and packages. There are the blessings we seek and the blessings that seem to come from left field, but through it all, the hand of God continues to be at work in our lives.

I know someone reading this might say, Rev. Hood, this is all well and good, with you talking about hot dogs and chili-fries, but what I want is my man back, a job with more money and better health. My response is this, pray the prayer of Jabez and ask the Lord for what you want and God will bless you.

1 Chronicles 4: 10 Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border[3]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Why do you think that Jabez begins his prayer asking God to “Bless me…”?
  2. What does it mean for God to “Bless you”?
  3. Does the blessing of God require favor at the expense of someone else?

 

Prayer: Lord, I call on you today to bless me. I acknowledge that there are somethings I cannot do on my own, somethings I cannot imagine, somethings I cannot comprehend. So, Lord, I call on you. In your divine providence, I call on you. I am weak, but you are strong. I am ignorant, but you are wise. My vision is strong, but your vision is stronger. My hearing is clear, but your hearing is clearer. My love is deep, but your love is deeper. Lord, I call on you today, that you might bless me.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Ch 4:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Ch 4:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Ch 4:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.