Sunday, September 19, 2010

Name of Blessing

Name of Blessing
Sept 20, 2010
1 Chronicles 4:9 ". . . His mother had named him Jabez, saying, 'I gave birth to him in pain.'"

Many people are familiar with the "prayer of Jabez," due to a book with the same name. The prayer of Jabez is a simple prayer found in 1 Chronicles 4.
"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."

There was a reason Jabez prayed this prayer; it was because of his name. "Jabez" means, and sounds like, the Hebrew word for "pain." His mother, who is nameless in the Bible (hypothetically, her name might have been Budala) gave birth to him in pain and decided to name him such to commemorate the day. Evidently, his name stuck, because he prayed earnestly that he would not have such pain the rest of his life. Children must have teased him when he was younger, maybe even ridiculed him. Somehow he became what his name meant. He did not want to be a pain; he wanted to be a blessing. Budala's words came true for her son.

For Hebrews, naming a person was important; they always chose names with significant meanings. God even renamed people in the Bible; it was THAT critical. If God had an important meaning or blessing to bestow upon someone, He would change their name to suit. Names carried with them a blessing, and in the case of Jabez, a curse. This is made clear for us when Jacob (whom God renamed Israel) was blessing his children before he died. He bestowed a blessing on each of them, or prophecy for their lives, which became their legacies. Each legacy came true. You didn't want to be the sons Simeon or Levi and instead, would prefer to be Judah or Joseph. These blessings, that their names carried, went on for generations.

While you may argue that generational curses are moot in the eye of the New Testament, your words still have the power to curse someone or enable a blessing. The brother of Jesus, James, said that each of us has that power, the power to curse, with a simple weapon, the tongue. Jesus even said you can move a mountain by telling it to go into the sea. Whether you know it or not, your words have the power of life and death; you can speak life or death directly into someone's life. If you want to speak a blessing into someone's life, try it with their name. While names aren't necessarily magical, if you give someone a name with an intended meaning, you are praying that meaning over their life every time you say their name. When choosing to name your child, pick one with a name of blessing you'd like to give them. If there are people you would like to see blessed, trying giving them a new name, maybe even keep it a secret and just pray that name over their lives. Jesus renamed several people, giving them names with important meanings He wanted to bestow upon them.

Conversely, if you call someone a bad name, even in your anger, you are cursing them with it, whether you truly mean to or not. The Bible says you are not to call someone a "fool," as carries with it a curse all on its own, a curse to the speaker of the poor word. You may think name calling is harmless, but that is not the case, just ask someone who is old and bitter from hurtful words spoken to them when he or she was a child. Words can stay with you and even shape your life, especially name calling.

All my children were named in the traditional Hebrew fashion. We gave them names with important meanings dear to our hearts. I pray every day I would live up to the meaning of my own name. The name "Adam" means "dirt." Oh, that I would become less so God could become more in my life. Jabez's mother spoke a curse on his life by calling him "Pain." He had to work very hard in prayer to overcome his mother's curse. Incidentally . . . "Budala" . . . means foolish; don't name your child that.

1. What prayer of blessing do you want spoken over your life? What name carries with it the meaning of that blessing you'd like to have?
2. What foolish words have you spoken over other peoples' lives, consequently cursing them?
3. How can you turn the curses of your life into a blessing, like Jabez?

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Gen 49, Ps 64:3, Pr 10:31, Pr 12:18, Matt 5:21-23, Mark 11, John 1:42, Acts 13:9, James 3

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