June 21, 2014
READ: 1 Samuel 7:1-17
Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the LORD has helped us!” (v.12).
As a Christian radio host I occasionally get to ask songwriters and musicians about the writing process that leads to the creation of their music. These worshippers often refer to a specific event that became the inspiration for a particular song. Then when I hear the track, I’m reminded of the story behind the lyrics. Just as these songs contain reminders of an individual’s journey, so do poems, blogs, paintings and social media updates. They all serve as ways we can remind ourselves and others of the provision, deliverance and presence of God.
The Israelites were often commanded to build tangible reminders of the faithfulness of the Lord. They would erect stones, pillars or altars after a victory over an enemy or as a reminder of the provision of God (Joshua 4:5-7; 1 Samuel 7:17). Just south of Gilgal, the Israelites had twice been defeated by the Philistines, and the Ark of the Covenant had been stolen (4:1-11, 5:1). But when they finally defeated the Philistines, Samuel set up a stone as a reminder of the Lord’s help and called it Ebenezer, which literally means “stone of help”. Samuel said, “Up to this point the LORD has helped us!” (1 Samuel 7:12).
When we go through the trials and sorrows of life (John 16:33), we often forget God’s faithfulness and how He carried us and gave us victory in previous similar challenges. Jesus doesn’t change (Hebrews 13:8). We can look back and be confident that He will once again prove Himself faithful, no matter the difficulties we face today.
Your ‘Ebenezers’ will remind you of what God has done, and they can also be a powerful witness to others of the continuing faithfulness of the Lord.—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith
John 4:1-42 ‹365-day plan
Read Psalm 96:1-4 and consider the goodness and faithfulness of God.
What tangible reminders do you have of God’s favour or provision in your life? Why is it vital that we continually reflect on God’s faithfulness?