Dec31ThuDecember 31, 2020
Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by Thy help I’m come
And I hope by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wand’ring from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood.
( - lyrics from the hymn, Come thou fount of every blessing)
Recently, as I was singing one of my favorite hymns, Come thou fount of every blessing...this name jumped out at me. Ebenezer.
Who and what is Ebenezer? I didn’t have a clue and I’ve sung this song time and time again. Never once stopping to think about who Ebenezer was. And so, like any good, curious, and seeking Christian would do🤔..I did some research. Lo and behold, to my surprise, Ebenezer isn’t a person, but rather a stone! A stone which marks victory and reminds that God is our help:
“While Samuel was offering the sacrifice, the Philistines came within range to fight Israel. Just then GOD thundered, a huge thunderclap exploding among the Philistines. They panicked—mass confusion!—and ran helter-skelter from Israel. Israel poured out of Mizpah and gave chase, killing Philistines right and left, to a point just beyond Beth Car. Samuel took a single rock and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen. He named it “Ebenezer” (Rock of Help), saying, “This marks the place where GOD helped us.””
1 Samuel 7:10-12 MSG
Another translation says this: “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”” I Samuel 7:12 NKJV
God gave me this Ebenezer revelation on a day when I most needed the reminder that my help comes from God. I heard these words in my heart: “I have been your help thus far, I will be your help in today and I will continue to be your help into tomorrow. Your job is to set up an Ebenezer stone..to remind you of this.”
So the message God gave me, I give to you. I encourage you to go find a stone, a rock, and place it where you can see it everyday. Call it Ebenezer. And let it remind you, The Lord is my help! Thus far He has helped me and He continues to help. Let it remind you, of the Rock on which you lean upon, He is a steadfast, strong and a sure hope. Let it remind you to roll all your cares and worries upon Him, for He cares for you and can handle all problems. Nothing is so big that it’ll shake this eternal Rock: He’s got this! Let this Ebenezer stone be a reminder of victory. Has God come through in past times? He’s still the same and He’ll come through now as well. Most of all, I hope this stone will remind you: The battle belongs to the Lord. I believe that sometimes we get in the way of the Lord. Our doubts, our fears, our unbelief,and dare I say, our complaining (instead of praising), are all a hindrance. No help at all! Learning to trust and rely on His promises and provisions is half the battle won. The battle belongs to the Lord!
As we step into a new year, let us also set up Ebenezer stones. Every day, all year long. Let our very life be an expression of: “The Lord is on my side as my Helper. I shall look in Triumph!” We have all had hard times, times we know we wouldn’t have made through, if it wasn’t for God. Times in which His grace covered us and He brought encouragement and strength. Times where He fought our battle and won. And as we were comforted, let us do likewise. Plant Ebenezer stones: words and deeds that express the grace bestowed on us all.
The Ebenezer stone wasn’t only a Reminder to Israel, but also a awakening. A call to take the attitude of victory into tomorrow. To begin the next chapter with praise. Lay down Ebenezer stones as you go about the day. Begin with: This is the day! This is the day that the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!
You might have to face the same enemy, but now with the truth of the Lord on your side, you can face it with courage: “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.” Psa. 54:4 ESVi
If the last year was tough, if it had valleys, if there was sorrow and you feel like giving up, I encourage you: Don’t. Today is new day. Set a stone, an Ebenezer, and strengthen yourself in the Lord. Set a new tone! Where there was defeat, now there is victory. Take courage in His power to save. So fight again, pursue again, speak to it again, and try again! Pray about it again! Praise again! Let us start this year with: Lord, help me! And then live for His glory every day, all year. Live your life, laying stones, pointing others to how the Lord has been good to you!
I pray for you, that this year you will be an Ebenezer stone. A visible reminder of God’s goodness. A clear sign that you are a child of the Most High, you are chosen and royal blood runs through your heart. And as such, I pray that each person you will meet today and every day, walks away having felt the love of the Father. I pray for you to be rooted and established in love, bringing unwavering hope, and carrying with you the message of victory. I pray for your life to be an Ebenezer, proclaiming: Thus far the Lord has helped me. He will continue to help, to heal, to restore. So I raise an Ebenezer and remind people of Him from whom all blessings flow!
Have a blessed new year!