Genealogies in the Bible as with Chronicles are one of the most unstudied verses with the Bible especially in personal Bible reading. For ordinary eyes, these do not offer much significance. In fact, we may even point to 1 Timothy 1:3-5 to even argue against studying it though the context of the verses clearly speaks not much on the genealogies like that of 1 Chronicles 1-9 but about some of the Jews who argued on grounds of “racial purity” rather than the word and love of God.
These lines of genealogies are important aspects for a Jew who were born already in exile. This gives them an idea of who their ancestors were and how they arrived in their place of exile. Given prominently in the genealogies is the idea of orders of precendence among the Tribes of Israel. Furthermore, this is most important for the priestly functions that depend much on a certain Aaronic lineage where to pass these functions to. Also, the royal line of David for example will be comparable to the genealogy of Jesus with regards to his Davidic royal lineage in Matthew’s Gospel. Aside from the endless names that are hard to even mention, what is the significance of these verses to the life of a Christian?
It is noteworthy that the short story of the Prayer of Jabez occurs in the middle of these verses, 1 Chronicles 4:9. Though nothing was said further said about him but for the fact that his story was mentioned amidst the names is a testament to the fact that God wants us to learn a certain lesson. There are a number of books written about him but what’s noteworthy is not much on what some say the effectiveness of his prayer but rather who he turned to in his endless affliction, God. His was a short story but a significantly lesson-filled one.
Some of us have been afflicted by a certain problem since childhood, many of which we refuse to admit but is haunting us when we are alone or least expected. Many fall into doubt and sometimes even apostatize but the example of Jabez’ life shows us that if we turn to the Lord and surrender our life to Him, he will answer our deepest and most honest of prayers. It may not certainly be financial or material but the Lord has in store for us great plans. Just as the life of Jabez had a privilege of being written down in the Bible, our life might as well be a blessing that will outlive us in our lifetime.