The old hymn Come Thou Fount contains a line which has always confused me. It goes, “Here I raise my Ebenezer.”
What’s an Ebenezer? Are we talking about the old tightwad from A Christmas Carol?
So, I did a little digging and it turns out that the word Ebenezer is found in the Bible in 1st Samuel, Chapter 7. Samuel was a prophet and leader of the Israelites during a time of great tribulation for the Jews, much of it brought on by their own disobedience. He gathered his people and told them to give up their false gods and sincerely repent for straying from the Lord. The people prayed and fasted and Samuel asked the Lord to restore and protect them.
The Philistines, who were the Israelites arch enemies, found out that all of Israel was gathered in one place in prayer and figured that was a good time to launch an attack. However, God protected the Israelites and divinely intervened on their behalf, keeping His people safe.
So no one would forget God’s miraculous intervention, Samuel erected a large stone at the place where all of this happened. He named the stone Ebenezer which means “Stone of Help” as a reminder that Lord always helps his people.
How has the Lord helped you? Was there a financial blessing that came along at just the right time? Maybe it was the way He protected you from harm or healed an illness. Or, perhaps it was His peace and presence you clearly felt in a time of trouble. I’d encourage you to learn from Samuel and think of ways you might “raise an Ebenezer” of your own to mark the occasion. It could be as simple as keeping a prayer journal, writing a poem, planting a tree or painting a picture. By doing so, the next time life gets tough, you’ll have a reminder of God’s never-ending faithfulness.