Raising Ebenezer

No, this is not a post about Scrooge.

In the book of 1 Samuel, after the Lord delivered Israel from the Philistines, the prophet Samuel took a stone and set it up as a reminder that “this far the Lord has helped us.” (See 1 Samuel 7)

My life is full of Ebenezers.  I can look back down the years and say “this far the Lord has helped me.”  Often times, when I think of that, I think of the blessings:  my wife, my kids, friends and family, health, etc.  But that’s not really what the Ebenezer was for, was it?  It was to remind Israel of the battle that had been fought, and how the LORD helped them triumph.

That takes me down a slightly different path.  Oh, all those blessings are still there, they’re still in view, but the Ebenezer points to something different.  My Ebenezer is a reminder to me of what the LORD has delivered me from, of just how far He has brought me.  It’s a reminder of the chains of sin that enslaved me were broken by Jesus at the cross, and now I can walk in newness of life as a result.

And what hit me today was this:  that stone remains a reminder.  Don’t overlook it.  Don’t forget it’s there.  Put it somewhere you can see it.  Think on it often.  Because that “stone of help” will not only make you realize what God has done for you, but it should also make you never want to go back and fight that battle again.  I know I don’t want to.

As the old saying goes “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  Well, Ebenezers are meant to keep that from happening.

Remember the battle.  Remember the pain.  Remember the cost.

And remember…this far the Lord has helped me.

There’s an amazing old hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”, that includes the lines:

“Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I come;  And I hope by Thy good pleasure safely to arrive at home.”

Amen.  So until I arrive at home, I’ll keep on raising Ebenezer.

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