Enslavement, Enrichment and Enlargement (All in the Family)

Genesis 9:24-29 gives the account of the outcome of the sinful and saintly acts of Noah’s sons. Noah’s youngest son, Ham was disgraceful in dealing with his father’s shame, when Noah was inebriated, while the second born Shem and the oldest son Japheth dealt decently in covering their father’s shame, as Noah lay intoxicated and naked, in his tent.

When Noah woke up and he found out what had transpired, Noah cursed Ham’s son, Canaan, with the curse of enslavement. Ham’s descendants would perpetually be the not mere servants, but servant of servants (akin to slaves) to his brothers, Shem and Japheth. On the other hand, Japheth, the oldest, is blessed by Noah with the blessing of enlargement, and Japheth shall dwell in the tents of Shem. Shem, on the other hand, is not directly blessed. Instead Noah, blesses the Lord God of Shem and in due course of time, we see that Shem becomes the father of Abram, later renamed Abraham  (Genesis 11:10-32) who was given the blessing – in blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply you (Genesis 22:17). Eventually through the line of Abraham, Jesus Christ, the promised seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:16) would be born, bringing about the blessing of God’s salvation to all mankind. In other words, the Lord God would enrich (bless) the generations of Shem through Abraham and eventually Jesus Christ.

Points to ponder:
Sin leads to the curse of enslavement while our act of not even looking at sin or its shame, as did Shem and Japheth, leads to enlargement and enrichment in and through Christ Jesus. Just as Japheth promise of enlargement is met with the condition of him dwelling in the tents of godly Shem, so also our enlargement is in Christ Jesus, not outside of him. Let our lives, bring about a blessing to the Lord God’s name, as Noah did of Shem. Can it be said of you, “Blessed be the Lord God of “?

Take a look at your life today and ask yourself the question … “If God was to look at me today, would I be given the verdict of being enslaved or enriched and enlarged (in Christ Jesus)?” Now answer it.

Genesis 9:24-29 (KJV)
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.
29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

The Crux of Jabez’s prayer

One of the books that became an international bestseller, topping the New York Times best seller list in 2001, selling over nine million copies, is “The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking through to the Blessed Life” by author Bruce Wilkinson. The book is based on the Scripture text recorded in 1 Chronicles 4:10. The words of Jabez’s prayer is “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.

Most Christians are not unfamiliar with this prayer, and many use this as a model to pray for the PROVISIONS of God (blessings and enlarging of one’s territory) or for God’s PROTECTION (keep me from evil that it may cause me harm). But as I pondered over the crux of this prayer, I believe by divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, I realized that the crux of this prayer is centrally positioned in the prayer itself. The crux is not about the provisions or the protection of God, but it is about the PRESENCE of God (Oh that the hand of God might BE WITH ME). The provisions and protection of God are byproducts of God’s presence. For example, when a parent is with a child, not only does the parent PROVIDE for the child, but also PROTECTS the child from any and all harm to the child. As long as the parent is with the child (PRESENT with the child), the child has nothing to worry about. In the same manner, Jabez prayed for God’s presence and received in full measure, not only God’s presence, but God’s provisions and protection as well.

Points to ponder:
When was the last time, you/I prayed, just for God to be with us; for his hand to be with us?
Next time we pray, instead of focusing on asking God for his provisions (blessings) and his protection, let us ask for God’s PRESENCE to be with us, since the rest will follow.  |
My prayer today, for today and the coming days, is “Oh Lord God, I pray that thine hand be with me!

1 Chronicles 4:10 (KJV)
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.