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
I Samuel 7:3-12
This scripture account reveals how the Israelites, in trying to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives, consecrated themselves and sought His face for the next phase. The Philistines then came to resist their advancement, making it difficult for them to achieve their objective. Don’t expect the enemy to be happy whenever you make a commitment to fulfill God’s will for your life or make a move towards realizing your purpose; he will raise all kinds of distractions. In this case, he employed all manner of weapons – rumors, counter rumors, talks, fears, threats, etc., against Israel.
The Israelites were not prepared for war, so they cried to the Lord for help, because they realized that deliverance is only in God and they had no power to save themselves! As though their prayers were not answered, the Philistines drew near to swallow them up. Imagine the terror they must have felt? Imagine you praying and hoping that things will change for the better, but the enemy still advances or the situation appears worse? However, in the nick of time, the Lord thundered, and by His timely intervention, the enemy was overcome.
After God gave Israel victory over the Philistines, Samuel was careful to keep Israel from gloating over such a victory; he set up a memorial stone, Ebenezer (the stone of help), that they might not forget that the triumph was gained through the help of God. The stone, more than reminding Israel of God’s past help, was to remind them, that they should still depend on God for future help.
I don’t know what despairing circumstance you are faced with right now, cast your mind back to victories God gave you in the past and set them up as a memorial of God’s help. If God helped you once, He sure is willing and able to help you again. You will not be food for the adversary, you will sing in triumph. Taking God as your Ebenezer implies appreciation for past help and expectation of future victories. The hymn writer captures the essence of the name so well, “O God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come!” Shut your eyes and whisper to Him in faith, “Lord, You are my Ebenezer!”
Thank You Lord for bringing me this far in life by Your help. I boldly declare, “No weapon of the enemy formed against me shall prosper because You remain my present help in trouble, and You will deliver me from every trouble in Jesus’ name.”