14 April 2020: EBENEZER – THE STONE OF HELP
In today’s bible reading - 1 Samuel 7 – we find that the Israelites were growing tired and losing heart as they have been drawn into a long battle with the Philistines. Samuel, as Judge and leader, encouraged the people to be faithful to the Lord. He called on them to get rid of their idols, repent and turn back to the Lord. He gathered them at Mizpah to worship the Lord and interceded on their behalf. When the people heard that the Philistines were going to attack them at Mizpah, they were afraid and asked Samuel to pray for them that God may rescue them from this war. The Lord fought for His people that day and gave them victory over the Philistines. Samuel wanted the people to remember that victorious day so he took a stone and set it up where the army had won the battle and called it Ebenezer (which means “the Stone of Help”), saying, “Thus far has the Lord helped us” (1 Sam 7:12). Samuel aims for the people to remember what the Lord has done “till now,” so that in the future they will again appeal to Him in faith. Their success as a nation would be largely dependent upon their willingness to rely on the Lord.
Samuel’s institution of the Ebenezer stone sets a strong example to establish spiritual markers in our own lives. How do you acknowledge your dependence upon God? What personal victories do you commemorate? What are those Ebenezer moments in your life – those times when you knew that God had specifically intervened and helped you? The Ebenezer stone constantly reminds us, “Thus far the Lord helped us.” In other words, with the Lord’s help, we are making it so far, and we will make it some more.
Psalm 105 exhorts us to “Give thanks to the Lord! Make known among the nationals what He has done! Tell of His wonderful acts.” When you do this, it not only gives glory to God, but it causes your faith to grow as you remember all that He has done in the past. You will then be more able to trust Him for the future.
In ending, let me share with you an old hymn entitled “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” - https://youtu.be/NjfToqk5w5g
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for Your watching over me.
Thank you for Your love, Your help and Your care.
Thank you for Your faithfulness to me in so many ways.
Thank you for all that You have done for me.
I commit my life afresh to You now and trust You for all that lies ahead.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.