There once was a man who lived his life in anonymity. He wasn’t a great man and he had no desire to be great. He tried hard to scratch out a living on the meager bit of land he had inherited. It wasn’t a large piece but it was very fertile. He worked long hours and sometimes he was able hire help with the harvesting. Though he wasn’t a particularly righteous man he still applied himself to knowing and living by Godly principles.
One day this fine man found a wife. He was overjoyed. As the Holy Scripture says, he who finds a wife finds a good thing. His joy at finding a wife seemed to bubble over out of him. Each new day he learned something new about her and she seemed to spend all of her days looking for ways to please him. They were merry as they planted seed together and when the rains came, they danced in the pathway while they gave thanks to God for rain to water their crops. And the little farm provided more than enough.
The man thought life could not get any better until his wife gave him the joyous news that they were expecting a child. Oh, the joy! The man seemed to become imbued with double energy and purpose as he coaxed even more harvest out of his farm in order to provide for his bride and new offspring. Imagine his joy when his sons were born! Twins! He smiled as he and his wife joked about training the boys to plant seed. In a short time his wife again conceived and this time, the man seemed a little restrained in his joy. Yet he loved his wife and he knew that children were a blessing from the Lord, so he set about planning the arrangement of his fields to get the most harvest possible.
The joy at the birth of his sons was dampened by the birth of a daughter and his wife’s continued weariness. She worked hard caring for the children and for him. It was too much to ask her to help with the planting – he would do it himself. With all these mouths to feed he could not afford to hire help. That would eat into what he needed to provide for his family. He wasn’t a very prosperous man though he worked hard to provide for his family and he began to wish that his father had bequeathed him just a bit more land. His brothers refused to help him and would not even talk about sharing what they had with him.
The years passed and the man’s family grew by leaps and bounds. His wife was predisposed to bearing twins and by the time they had been married five years they had 7 children. The oldest boys, though still only four, were a great help at planting time but not so much at harvest. The man realized that soon he would not be able to provide for his growing family because he would not be able hire any help for the harvest. If the weather did not hold just right he would lose everything and they would likely starve.
In this mindset the man crept from his bed in the wee hours of the morning and went outside away from the house. There, under a blanket thick with stars, he raised his eyes heavenward to speak to the God he tried to obey.
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. (1 Chronicles 4:10)
From that day forward the man prospered in everything he did. The hand of God moved and gave him even more land, removing obstacles and keeping the man from falling into sin and temptation while providing well for him and his family all of his days. And the man was careful to give God all the glory for his life.
Oh that we would do the same!