We have been looking at the prayer of Jabez, and we have come to the third part which is; “That your hand may be upon me” or “with me”. As I have already pointed out, it would seem that Jabez is looking beyond himself in all of the areas he prays for and realizes – or has a vision for – who God is and what God can do! He was asking God to do something so big that Jabez could not possibly do it on his own, or in his own abilities and power, and he knows that he will need God’s hand upon him if it’s going to get done!
Another thing we need to notice here is that in all these things, Jabez left the substance of the answer to his prayers up to God. He asked God to bless him…He did not ask for specific blessings. He left that up to God. He did not ask for any specific or amount of territory, or what that territory would consist of, he left that up to God.
This petition for the hand of God was not the result of God’s granting the abundant blessings or the increasing of his territory. It was a natural progression in the thoughts of a man who knew his God. It was one continual thought from the heart of Jabez. He sought God’s hand in his life because he knew how desperately he needed it. Simply stated, He knew his limitations. He knew that his strength alone was insufficient for the journey and purpose for which God had called him…So he needed divine strength, and perfect guidance and protection… You could say that Jabez was what the church ought to totally be…and that is God dependent, therefore he prayed, “O, Lord, that your hand would be with me.” He knew God is who He says He is…and, he knew God can do what He says He can do! Jabez knew there was a greater reality than this reality and so he prays. We also need to ask for his presence and his hand upon us if we are to fulfill the vision he has given the church.
If there is one thing most men fear more than anything else it is the shame of weakness. Maybe that explains why we don’t ask for directions and why we do not read instructions. Yet, maybe it is also why we will suffer through some tragedy or great trial and never ask for help. As much as we desire to be found strong, unfailing and without need, we are, in reality, weak, helpless, and desperately needy…That’s why God created “a helpmate” for us! (Right ladies?)
Jabez understood that without the presence of God’s hand in his life he would be unable to live and work beyond his normal abilities. He would be limited in the impact he would have, if not for the supernatural hand of God.
Take for example, the life of Joseph; The Bible says that “when Potiphar realized that the hand of the Lord was upon Joseph, he put him in charge of his household and entrusted into his care everything he owned.” Notice that it wasn’t because Joseph was smart, or handsome, or a hard worker, it was because the Lord’s hand was upon Joseph. This tells me that even the ungodly and the non-Christian can tell when God’s hand is upon someone’s life! And, that it results in “blessing”.
In 1st. Chron. 9:20 there is another interesting short scripture about a man named Phinehas; It is also found among a list of genealogies; and it simply says “Phinehas, son of Eleazar, was in charge of the gatekeepers, and the Lord was with him!” Phinehas wasn’t a king, or a great warrior, he wasn’t a David or a Saul, he simply was in charge of about 212 men who were the gatekeepers of Israel…but it was the hand of the Lord upon him that made all the difference in his life and in his realm of influence and leadership.
When Joseph was in prison, it says the Warden noticed the same thing and put him in charge of the entire prison and all the prisoners. And, of course when Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh’s dream, the Pharaoh noticed it as well, and put Joseph in charge of the whole land of Egypt! All this was of course part of God’s plan…But, think about this; it all came about because Joseph was faithful…and knew that God’s hand was upon his life. He didn’t look at the circumstances and decide to have a pity party, he took charge of the prison!
Far too many do not experience the hand of the Lord because they hardly know it exists. Listen, it’s not something reserved for the pastor, prophets, or the apostles, or a few “Super-Christians” God’s hand is not about such things, or such people. It is about God “using the foolish, weak, and lowly of this world to shame the wise” and it’s about filling the lives of His people with His presence, His power, and His strength. (see my book “By His Hand”) We ought never be able to say look what we did…but always able to say “Look what God has done IN and THROUGH us, to him be the glory!
A baseball in my hands is worth about $5; A baseball in Alex Rodriguez’s hands is worth about $250 million. A golf club in my hands is absolutely worthless; A golf club in Tiger Woods’ hands is priceless. A rod in my hands might keep me from stumbling; A rod in the hand of Moses will part the waters. A sling in my hands is a child’s toy; A sling in David’s hands will kill a giant. Two fish and five loaves in my hand is a couple of sandwiches; Two fish and five loaves in Jesus’ hands will feed a multitude. It all depends on whose hands it’s in. So, we need to put our worries and fears in the right hands, in His hands, and He will comfort our troubled hearts. We need to put our plans, our dreams, our lives in His hands; and He will protect us, guide us, strengthen us, and empower us, and the world will recognize God’s hand upon us.
No matter how many times we hear the words about God working “IN” and “THROUGH” us, we have a tendency to gloss over those words. But, we need to understand, as Jabez understood, that God’s bounty, God’s blessings, God’s power, are all limited by us, unless we truly ask and allow God to do it. That’s what Jabez was asking for when he said “Let your hand be with me.” It’s not about who we are or think we are, or about what we think or believe we can do… It’s all about believing God is who he says he is; and believing that God can do what he says he can do; and that he will do it IN and THROUGH us…if we simply ask…