“What man is he that desireth life, And loveth many days, that he may see good?”
There is a hymn that starts with the words: “I care not today what tomorrow may bring…” Yet no matter what our lips say, most of us really do care. We are hoping and praying for favor and grace from God.
“And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my border, and that thy hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it be not to my sorrow! And God granted him that which he requested.” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)
At their high school graduation, one of our children received a small book, I believe the name of it was, “Prayer of Jabez”. It was a very popular book that year. I don’t remember how the book was set up but…
In scripture, we find the very short succinct “Prayer of Jabez” in I Chronicles 4:9-10. As far as I know, the name Jabez only occurs in I Chronicles 4:9-10 (and I Chronicles 2:55) in the scriptures.
Jabez bore the remembrance in scripture of being more honorable than his brethren. The next thing we are told is his mother named him Jabez, not because he was more honorable but because she bare him with sorrow. I don’t know what direction that sorrow took. It could have been a difficult labor and delivery, or it could have been something else, we are not enlightened on the circumstances.
We are told that he was more honorable, and he was also wise. He “called on the God of Israel” and he asked for God’s blessing: “keep me from evil and it be not to my sorrow.”
We don’t know who Jabez was, where he came from or where things went from there… Except, God granted him his request.
The point in my mind is to make your choices count.
In Gibeon Jehovah appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. (1 Kings 3:5)
…And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern justice; behold, I have done according to thy word: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there hath been none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. (1 Kings 3:10-12)
Solomon’s request had been: Give thy servant therefore an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this thy great people? (1 Kings 3:9)
Give me an understanding heart… and just as the prayer of Jabez pleased the Lord, Solomon’s request pleased the Lord as well.
In a video I watched recently the speaker told how he enjoyed the preaching but the counseling wasn’t pleasant to him. He had developed one question that he always asked first in his counseling sessions.
His question was, “Do you read your Bible daily?” I lost the thread so I’m not sure where he went with the idea, but asking counsel of the Lord is always a good place to start.
However, no matter how often I read my Bible I still have questions, and I still need answers. The difficult part is when, after floundering and searching for “the answer” I make a decision and sometimes immediately or sometimes later down the stream of time, I see there was a better option that I should have taken, but I just didn’t see it.
I have called this the phenomenon of “Spending the same dollar twice.” It is a situation where I have two different options, maybe to buy one thing or maybe some other thing, and forgetting that I only have a limited amount of money I try to put it in both places. At least until I realize… “You can only spend that dollar once.” And most decisions once made can’t be unmade.
I have developed a card game which as of yet is unnamed. I thought about “Cowboy Solitaire” but I’m thinking of running a contest for the naming of the game. At one time my grandmother would play solitaire, and around the holidays I developed the habit of doing the same as a remembrance.
The thing I found about Solitaire was that it goes against my nature. There was a questionnaire years ago attempting to find what slot to peg people in. One question was… if you have the option would you choose as your partner in a card game, 1) your spouse 2) a woman friend, or 3) a man friend?
My choice is whichever partner guarantees that we win. Like Blackbeard in Disney’s “Blackbeard’s Ghost” (Peter Ustinov), “Win! I taught my men to win.” That’s my motto.
However, with Solitaire sometimes you win, sometimes the cat gets the game. With the game I developed the point is to win. I’ve tried to get my family to help me refine the game and get it saleable. I see it as a tool to help people gauge in their own lives decisions and how to evaluate choices.
I have been told that I have a unique way of looking at things. When people share that information with me they usually do so as they are putting some distance between themself and me, so I’m not thinking it’s a real compliment.
When evaluating information most of us have a set way we handle incoming facts and analysis. A few years ago, in our haywire world, I heard someone proposing that “men could get pregnant.”
As my granny used to say, “I’m a little old woman, just trying to get along.” Indeed, I’m not a spring chick anymore, and I must say this new information was shocking. As I ruminated on this idea, running the “what I knew to be physiology and what they were proposing” through my mind, I came to the natural conclusion…
Naw, that ain’t happening. And my “What universe do they live in?” kicked in. It isn’t quite fair to reach an age where the obvious truth is being pushed out and stupidity is replacing it.
This morning I’m sitting with my door open, listening to the birds and enjoying the fresh air. People can say all sorts of stupid things. They can believe all sorts of lies, but God is in heaven. The birds still build their nests and lay their eggs. Their babies hatch and they raise them. And the sun still rises and sets in the morning and the evening…
“Oh taste and see that Jehovah is good: Blessed is the man that taketh refuge in him.” (Psalms 34:8)
A Song of Ascents; of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, That ran down upon the beard, Even Aaron’s beard; That came down upon the skirt of his garments; Like the dew of Hermon, That cometh down upon the mountains of Zion: For there Jehovah commanded the blessing, Even life for evermore. (Psalms 133:1-3)