Raise Your Ebenezer

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine 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,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

I’ve sung this song for years…and for all those years I’ve wondered what an ebenezer is. Last week, while reading 1 Samuel 7 I came across the word:

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the LORD has helped us.” (1 Samuel 7:12 ESV)

The ebenezer stone had one purpose–to remind the Israelites of how God had helped them. What you don’t see in the summary of verse 12 is the near defeat the Israelites avoided. The Philistines came storming in “But the LORD thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel.” (1 Samuel 7:10 ESV) To remember that victory they chose a stone and called it their “ebenezer”–their stone of help. Ebenezer simply means “stone of help.”

How has God helped you? Here I raise mine Ebenezer. What does your ebenezer represent? What has God done for you lately?

This Monday, pause to raise a “stone of help.” Mark this Monday by remembering the gracious work of God in your life. Thank him specifically for what he has done. Don’t allow the trials of today to cloud the victories of yesterday. Don’t let the worries about tomorrow erase God’s faithfulness yesterday. Raise an ebenezer. Mark the spot. Remember the time when God worked. And thank him.