Today: [1 Chronicles Four] The Genealogies Continued. In this chapter we find a jewel of truth in the genealogies about Jabez who was cursed from birth whose destiny changed when he cried out to God. We also read of Caleb who was only one of two men who survived the wilderness of sin. There is also indication in this chapter of Noah’s son Ham actually repenting of his great sin so long ago and finding a place of peace and blessing. Though the genealogies are difficult to read through yet they often contain pleasant and surprising anecdotes of benefit to those who trudge through them.
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[1Ch 4:1-43 KJV] 1 The sons of Judah; Pharez, Hezron, and Carmi, and Hur, and Shobal. 2 And Reaiah the son of Shobal begat Jahath; and Jahath begat Ahumai, and Lahad. These [are] the families of the Zorathites. 3 And these [were of] the father of Etam; Jezreel, and Ishma, and Idbash: and the name of their sister [was] Hazelelponi: 4 And Penuel the father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah. These [are] the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah, the father of Bethlehem. 5 And Ashur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah. 6 And Naarah bare him Ahuzam, and Hepher, and Temeni, and Haahashtari. These [were] the sons of Naarah. 7 And the sons of Helah [were], Zereth, and Jezoar, and Ethnan. 8 And Coz begat Anub, and Zobebah, and the families of Aharhel the son of Harum. 9 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. 10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep [me] from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested. 11 And Chelub the brother of Shuah begat Mehir, which [was] the father of Eshton. 12 And Eshton begat Bethrapha, and Paseah, and Tehinnah the father of Irnahash. These [are] the men of Rechah. 13 And the sons of Kenaz; Othniel, and Seraiah: and the sons of Othniel; Hathath. 14 And Meonothai begat Ophrah: and Seraiah begat Joab, the father of the valley of Charashim; for they were craftsmen.
Here in this chapter we continue with the geneologies of the kingdom of Judah. Many commentators just brush right past these they are so difficult to deal with due to their featureless nature. One commentator from years gone by remarked: “How barren to us is this register, both of incident and interest! And yet, as barren rocks and sandy deserts make integral and necessary parts of the globe; so do these genealogical tables make necessary parts of the history of providence and grace in the maintenance of truth, and the establishment of the church of Christ. Therefore, no one that fears God will either despise or lightly esteem them.”
However difficult these passages here we make note of Jabez whose story of recent years produced a veritable devotional industry with many books being written, and plaques, and poems etc. Jabez was of the stock of Judah and hailed from Bethlehem. There was something about the circumstances of his birth that caused his mother to call him a name that means “sorrow” and “grief”. This reminds us of Eli’s daughter-in-law who upon her death in childbirth named her son Ichabod. Rachel, Jacob’s wife also died in childbirth naming her son “Benoni” which means “Son of My Sorrow” which Jacob changed to Benjamin – not wanting to curse his son. Names mean something. When you name a thing you control it’s destiny. We need to be aware of that in naming our children and in our regard for our own names.
Though Jabez was cursed by his own mother there was nobility in him. Not because he was of kingly stock or was some great hero. Apparently his character was rooted in godliness and the fact that he was a man of prayer. Throughout his life his name and the curse associated with it dogged his tracks and held him back in every area of life. Finally there comes a point that he cries out to God for mercy and God heard him and his entire history changed going forward. Perhaps you are someone who by circumstances of your birth, or perhaps mistakes you have made feel that your life is over before you had a chance to live it. Let me say to you that Jabez is your example. Things can be different. You can have a different life if you will only be courageous enough to belief for it.
Where do you start? In prayer. God hears and answers prayer. Cry out to God and believe him for something different than what you are experiencing. Don’t try to think your way through how it will happen. Most faith and prayers die right here. You can’t imagine how God will make things change. Or perhaps you have an idea of how change will change and you get fixated on the process and fail to leave the outcome to God. God is a sovereign God. The things he is going to do in your life will not come about the way you think they will. God has a ways and means committee to get things done and he will not check with you first before He acts. Leave the process to God. Leave the outcome to God. Trust in His mercy and cooperate with His Spirit. Your change will not come about without your involvement. Sitting around waiting on God and wondering why God isn’t doing something about your situation is equivalent to murmuring. Jesus said take no thought for such things. Your place is to find out what seek the kingdom looks like in your life and pursue that – believing that all things will be added. To sit in a stagnate situation waiting for God to do something is to despise what he has already done on the cross. You have a calling on your life. If you don’t know what it is then your calling is to find out what your calling is and make your election sure. To apply yourself in service to the kingdom until breakthrough for your like as Jabez comes and reshapes your life according to God’s blessing.
15 And the sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh; Iru, Elah, and Naam: and the sons of Elah, even Kenaz. 16 And the sons of Jehaleleel; Ziph, and Ziphah, Tiria, and Asareel. 17 And the sons of Ezra [were], Jether, and Mered, and Epher, and Jalon: and she bare Miriam, and Shammai, and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. 18 And his wife Jehudijah bare Jered the father of Gedor, and Heber the father of Socho, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. And these [are] the sons of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took. 19 And the sons of [his] wife Hodiah the sister of Naham, the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maachathite. 20 And the sons of Shimon [were], Amnon, and Rinnah, Benhanan, and Tilon. And the sons of Ishi [were], Zoheth, and Benzoheth. 21 The sons of Shelah the son of Judah [were], Er the father of Lecah, and Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the families of the house of them that wrought fine linen, of the house of Ashbea, 22 And Jokim, and the men of Chozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who had the dominion in Moab, and Jashubilehem. And [these are] ancient things. 23 These [were] the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work. 24 The sons of Simeon [were], Nemuel, and Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, [and] Shaul: 25 Shallum his son, Mibsam his son, Mishma his son. 26 And the sons of Mishma; Hamuel his son, Zacchur his son, Shimei his son. 27 And Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brethren had not many children, neither did all their family multiply, like to the children of Judah. 28 And they dwelt at Beersheba, and Moladah, and Hazarshual, 29 And at Bilhah, and at Ezem, and at Tolad, 30 And at Bethuel, and at Hormah, and at Ziklag,
The Caleb here is the Caleb who spied with Joshua and warred alongside of Joshua in the conquest of Canaan. Caleb was one of only two men on the other side of Egypt’s bondage who didn’t die in the wilderness. He was a mighty man of faith. He stood against all odds. When literally millions of his kinsmen were cursing God he stood alone with Joshua and Moses, believing God even though his entire tribe were murmering in their tents. To break with family, and stand up to believe God is a massive feat of great faith and great sacrifice. When the Jebusites were resisting on Mount Zion Caleb demanded at 80 years of age to be given opportunity to take what younger men had failed to conquer. In our culture we despise and disdain the older generation. You must make it your determination that you will not look at yourself through the eyes of others. You must break with the cult of Ashteroth in our day that only esteems and even worships youth like a leering idol. You have time. Because God has time you have time. Believe God. Shake yourself from the lethergy of time and get up out of your easy chair and pursue. God has a plan for you and it doesn’t include sitting and stewing until Jesus comes. You were brought to the kingdom for such a time as this. Your mountain is waiting to afford you a great testimony of victory.
31 And at Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusim, and at Bethbirei, and at Shaaraim. These [were] their cities unto the reign of David. 32 And their villages [were], Etam, and Ain, Rimmon, and Tochen, and Ashan, five cities: 33 And all their villages that [were] round about the same cities, unto Baal. These [were] their habitations, and their genealogy. 34 And Meshobab, and Jamlech, and Joshah the son of Amaziah, 35 And Joel, and Jehu the son of Josibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel, 36 And Elioenai, and Jaakobah, and Jeshohaiah, and Asaiah, and Adiel, and Jesimiel, and Benaiah, 37 And Ziza the son of Shiphi, the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah; 38 These mentioned by [their] names [were] princes in their families: and the house of their fathers increased greatly. 39 And they went to the entrance of Gedor, [even] unto the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks. 40 And they found fat pasture and good, and the land [was] wide, and quiet, and peaceable; for [they] of Ham had dwelt there of old. 41 And these written by name came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and smote their tents, and the habitations that were found there, and destroyed them utterly unto this day, and dwelt in their rooms: because [there was] pasture there for their flocks. 42 And [some] of them, [even] of the sons of Simeon, five hundred men, went to mount Seir, having for their captains Pelatiah, and Neariah, and Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. 43 And they smote the rest of the Amalekites that were escaped, and dwelt there unto this day.
Here we find an interesting bit of information about Ham’s fate the son of Noah who looked on his father’s nakedness. The sons of Shemiah in the geneology of Judah settled in a part of the promised land that had previously been occupied by descendants of Ham that were not directly associated with his son Canaan whom Noah cursed. The land was broad, and fertile, and quite – a wonderful pasture land that was blessed because they were in it. The sons of Shemiah prospered there because Ham had been there before them. This tells us that those Ham’s sins were great he very possibly reconciled his transgressions between himself and his father and with God as well because apparently his testimony was that he ended his days in peace and blessing. Perhaps you have committed great sins in the past that though you are remorseful they have a lingering effect in your life. Things can be different. If you cannot repair the errors of the past you can cry out to God as Jabez for mercy. A prayer for mercy will go much farther than a demand for clemency. God hears the cry of the contrite and the humble. Humble yourself. Your enemies will not humble themselves but you will. Know that God loves you and though you may have made mistakes that you can’t undo – God is with you and will bring you into a place of blessing as you maintain a repentant heart before him.
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