Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the LORD has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12
In 1st Samuel 7 we find the nation of Israel returning to the LORD after some 20 years of what appears to be half-hearted repentance (see 7:2). Finally fed up with the empty promises of sin and the worship of the gods of the Canaanites, Israel returns wholeheartedly to Yahweh (7:3-11). Then Samuel sets up a large stone and calls it Ebenezer, which means “stone of help.” It was to serve as a reminder that the Lord had helped the Israelites not only defeat the Philistines, but that He had in fact always been faithful to His people. That’s why Samuel says, “Till now the Lord has helped us.”
As far back as Israel could remember, the Lord had helped his chosen people. Out of Egypt. Through the Red Sea. Through the 40 year wilderness journey. Entering and possessing the promised land. And now in His grace to fully restore them. The Lord had always been there helping.
John Calvin said, “So numerous are the dangers which surround us, that we couldn’t stand a single moment, if His eye did not watch over our preservation.”
He’s right. And so is Samuel. God has been watching over His children and helping them, even up until the moment that you began reading this blog post. And He will continue to help us. That’s the way God is. That’s the kind of God He is. He helps His people. And we see His help most clearly in the Incarnation. God has helped us in the Gospel by sending Jesus. And God has sent His Helper, the Holy Spirit (John 16:7).
Think about this today: if God took His eye off of you for even a single second, you would probably crumble. (I agree with Calvin, I think you would!)
Be like Samuel today and tell people, “Till now the Lord has helped us.” Don’t be a “scrooge” with your thankfulness. Raise an Ebenezer!
Thankful for Yahweh’s help,