“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.” 1 Chronicles 4:10
Dictionary.com defines the word “standout” as someone remarkably superior to others. We often hear this term, “standout,” in reference to a baseball player or other athletes who seems to have the athletic edge and pulls away from the crowd of competitors.
In 1 Samuel 14, Jonathan was certainly a “standout.” Israel needed a breakthrough as they had found themselves at a stalemate against the Philistines, and Jonathan stepped up, allowing the Lord to use him to route the enemy. I’m sure as far as fitness and training was concerned, Jonathan was in line with any of Israel’s soldiers, but what made Jonathan the standout was his willingness to rely on the Lord. Jonathan knew he needed God’s help, and that if God was with him, he couldn’t lose.
Such was also the case for a man named Jabez in 1 Chronicles chapter four. As you read 1 Chronicles it’s exactly that, the chronological order of the ancestry of Israel, and it could be a boring read, except for the fact that out of nowhere a “standout” appears.
So, what made Jabez such a standout? Well it wasn’t because of his name. In fact, his name literally means “one who causes pain.” That name and its meaning had followed Jabez all of his life, which is most likely what led him to pray this prayer: “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do and keep me from all trouble and pain!’ And God granted him his request.”
Jonathan and Jabez called on the Name of the Lord, but what really made them both standouts was that God answered their prayers, granting their requests. Today, you and I can be standouts as we “call upon the Lord” and receive His answers, His favor and His blessing.