What does it say?

More genealogy. We are tracing the royal genealogy that began in 2:3. This will eventually become the genealogy of Jesus the Christ of the tribe of Judah.  But this particular genealogy is strictly focused on the royal line and not the entire tribe of Judah. This royal genealogy now (1Chr 3) follows the descendants of David until the end of the Babylonian exile. 1Chr 4 begins a summary of the 12 tribes, starting with Judah, but now encompassing the entire tribe. 1Chr 5 gives the genealogical background of Simeon, Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh.

What does it mean?

Don’t despair! These genealogies won’t last forever, though they are critically important in ways you might not currently understand. That’s okay. For the moment look at the hidden gem in 1Chr 4:10, the prayer of Jabez that was the focus of a wildly popular devotional book some years ago.

As you slug your way through the genealogies, you should remember that all of this is the story of God’s mission. When additional information like 1Chr 4:10 is provided, it is because it has relevance. What application do you think 1Chr 4:10 might have to God’s mission and your place in it?

There are other commentaries given in both 1Chr 4 and 5. Look for them and see if you can find practical application for you, your church community or God’s global mission.

How will I respond?

How may I personalize the prayer of Jabez and pray it back to God today? With a shorter reading, this is a great opportunity to learn and/or practice a bit of meditation. If I repeat this single verse some ten times or so, I will have it memorized. Then, in a very relaxed way I will begin to reflect on the meaning and application of this prayer as I play it in endless loop in my mind and heart.