The Power of Remembering: Ebenezer Stones
by Marilynn Chadwick The Bible tells the story of how the children of Israel came back to God after many years of wandering away from Him (1 Samuel 7). They began to copy the evil behavior of the pagan people around them and even started to worship the demon gods of their enemies — sometimes even sacrificing their own babies! Finally, they’d had enough. They were sick and tired of the consequences of their rebellion. Sick and tired of fear and failure. Sick and tired of feeling like they were under a curse. Desperate, they had forgotten how to pray, so they asked their leader Samuel to pray for them. First, Samuel called them together to confess their sins. Then, he challenged them to commit, once and for all, to following God with their whole heart. Above all, he warned, they must stop their wicked worship of pagan idols. While Samuel was still praying, their mortal enemy, the Philistines, launched a surprise attack. But instead of fighting back, the people pleaded with Samuel to keep praying. I can imagine how they all began to cry out with the prayer that gets God’s attention. “Help!” The Lord rushed to their rescue and brought fierce thunder and lightning from heaven that day. The entire Philistine army was terrified and thrown into such confusion that the Israelites defeated them and won a thrilling victory. Samuel took a large stone and placed it as a monument in their town. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”). “This marks the place where the Lord has helped us!” He wanted them to always remember how God gave them victory and never drift from Him again (1 Samuel 7:12 MSG). The word Ebenezer comes from two Hebrew words. Eben, which means “stone or rock” and ezer, which means “help or support.” That’s why an Ebenezer is a “stone of help.” Even to this day, people sometimes use the word Ebenezer as the reminder of an important victory. What are some practical ways you can create your own “Ebenezer stones,” or reminders of the spiritual victories you have experienced in your life? I believe as you collect your own Ebenezer stones, your faith will increase!