Written by Grace Mwaura on May 22, 2023
There is a hymn I love, ‘Come thou fount’ I learned it at bible study, and it has become one of my favorite hymns. In the second stanza of this hymn, we find the words “Here I raise my Ebenezer.” The writer, Robert Robinson, wrote it in 1758 when he was only 23, referencing 1 Samuel 7 because God raised him from a dangerous path in his life. Ebenezer is a Hebrew word that means ‘stone of help.’ Whenever God performed a miraculous act or proved his faithfulness, people in the Old Testament would often stack stones to create a memorial for what he had done. So that whenever future generations passed by Ebenezer, they would ask their parents about what took place there (Genesis 28:11, Joshua 4:8). God’s people are prone to forget all the times God has come through faithfully for them, hence why the practice of these stones of help that could serve as a reminder that God has yet to fail his people.
The story in 1 Samuel 7 is a very interesting one of victory. It gives a direct reference to Ebenezer. In this chapter, we meet Israel, who has been traumatized by the Philistines in battle and losing The Art of the Covenant in Chapter 4 of the same book and now getting it back. When they gather at Mizpah, Samuel leads the people in repentance and seeks God’s face. It was during this place of worship that the Philistines came to attack them. Samuel urged them to continue worshipping instead of looking at the enemy before them. Just as Samuel offered the burnt offering, the Philistines attacked, and God spoke. The Israelites defeated them when the Philistines heard a mighty thunder and became confused. That was a remarkable work of God because the Israelites could perceive the same thunder, but only the Philistines got confused. Samuel knew the nation needed to remember this astonishing victory, which came to a humble and repentant Israel. The Lord won this battle, not Israel, so he named the stone Ebenezer.
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!” 1 Samuel 7:12
A stone is a firm material and can be used to build things and start fires. The Lord is like a stone. He is a God of mercy that is not easily broken and sends his Holy Spirit to start an unquenchable fire in our hearts. Today, we can remember times when God has shown us wisdom, guidance, and mercy. As believers, I encourage you to have a journal in which you record the times God has come through for you. It is by reading it that you can overcome difficult times because you have seen God do it before, and it reminds you to give thanks for how far God has brought you.
Ebenezer is a word with power and importance. Having the knowledge that God is our stone of help. He is solid and will help us through a time of trials. Like the Israelites, we all have had times when we knew we would not have made it through without God. That is when we can raise our Ebenezer and remember the grace bestowed on us.
Rev Canon Justo Nyamwata On May 22, 2023 at 7:52 pm
Thanks for the powerful massage
Muthoni Kang’ara On May 25, 2023 at 10:15 pm
Thank you for sharing so powerfully. I am blessed to know Him as my Ebenezer.