By Tope Banso
“Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain’” (1 Chronicles 4:9 New King James Version).
In Luke 1:57-66, the Bible records the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth. While Zechariah was still unable to speak after an encounter with the angel, Elizabeth gave their son the name John at his naming when no one was bearing that name in the family. Unknown to Elizabeth or anyone else, this was exactly the name the angel had told Zechariah.
When Zechariah was asked to write the name the child should be given, he also wrote John. Elizabeth was not emotional in her choice of name for their son. She didn’t give the child a name that reflected the inability of the father to speak, and probably to hear (verse 62)! She was in the Spirit!
Parents must be careful not to give their children negative circumstantial names. Rather, they should receive their names from the LORD, names that are consistent with the destiny of their children. The name of Jesus was given by an angel before he was conceived (Luke 1:31).
In Genesis 35, we see an example of emotional naming of a child based on negative circumstances of birth. But in this case, a spiritually sensitive father was in the family to overrule the wife. Parents must never fail their children. Fathers must never abdicate their responsibilities to their wives. Women are different from men, and there are things only a man can do, and vice versa.
Women alone should not be left to raise children. It takes the meeting of a man and a woman to produce a baby, and both of them should also raise the baby to adulthood.
Rachael, the wife of Jacob, was about to die during childbirth. “And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-Oni; but his father called him Benjamin” (Genesis 35:18 New King James Version). Rachael called the child Ben-oni, meaning “the son of sorrow” or “the child of my distress.”
This was exactly what the mother of Jabez did, and the name stood. 1 Chronicles 4:9 says, “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain’” (New King James Version). In Jabez’s case, the father did not overrule her mother, or was not alive or around to overrule her. But in Benjamin’s case, there was a father, who was alive to his responsibility. What a father did not do for Jabez, a father did for Benjamin.
Immediately Rachael named him Ben-oni, Jacob named him Benjamin, “the child of his right hand” and this announced name prevailed. The name Ben-oni was buried with Rachael! Benjamin was saved the pains of answering a dangerous name and having to appeal to God for intervention, as Jabez did.
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what he requested” (1 Chronicles 4:10 New King James Version). However, the Bible does not say that God changed his name. But during a night of spiritual warfare, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Genesis 32:28). Jacob means a supplanter, and true to his name, he supplanted his brother. Israel means “who prevails with God.”
Earlier in Genesis 17:5, God had changed Abram’s name to Abraham (from exalted father to father of multitude). He also changed Sarai’s name to Sarah (from my princess to princess) (Genesis 17:15).
I pray that you will not give your children wrong names. If you have, you may need to pray and listen to what God will tell you to do. I pray God will help you to give your children the right names that will inspire them to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives, a name that will not be a liability to them but an asset.
If you’re not born again, repent of your sins today and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.
PRAYER POINT: Father, forgive me for the wrong names I have given my children. Tell me what to do now/ I receive deliverance from the spirit supervising any negative names my parents gave me. Instruct me what to do next.
This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please share.
(For more inspiring messages, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
▪ Banso, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947