My Ebenezer Stone refocuses my attention on a God who watches over me every minute of the day, answering prayers that I haven't even prayed and carries me through them like a child. For that I am grateful.
A "stone of help" is what it was called in the book of Samuel -an Ebenezer stone. Chapter 7: 12: Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us."
It signified remembrance - a tangible way to remind the Israelites of God's protection over them.
The Israelites were a wishy-washy bunch. They were always in battles, either amongst themselves or with someone else; they were either fighting or running for their lives; they wandered around in circles in the desert for 40 years when Deuteronomy 1:2 says that the distance should have taken 11 days; they complained alot, they were never satisfied with what God had given them; they spent time seeking God one minute and rebelling the next...in other words they were quite a challenge.
When God looks at us today...it is Déjà vu. But He still fights for us.
God is a jealous God. He tells us that over and over again. Now being the child of a jealous God is not a bad thing. One definition of the word Jealous is to be fiercely protective and vigilant of one's possessions. We are the possession. We are the creation. God is fiercely protective of us and jealous for our attention, our love, our gratefulness to Him, taking note of the things He does for us, taking note of only Him.
Deuteronomy 1:29-32 tells us that God continually fights for us, He always goes before us making a way through our battles - even the battles we haven't prayed about, and then He gently carries us through them, as a father would carry His child, all the way to the end.
But we either forget or we continue in our self-absorbed way and choose not to remember. We overlook and take for granted the very God who gave us life.
In Samuel chapter 7, the Israelites were in a tough spot because of the Philistines, who were a strong fighting group of men. The Israelites were no match for the chariot driving infantry and they knew it and were afraid. They went to Samuel (who was leading them at the time) for help and Samuel told them to gather at Mizpah for a prayer meeting. When they got to Mizpah, Samuel prayed and they drew water and poured it out as an offering to the Lord - signifying the pouring out of their hearts. Samuel took a lamb and gave it as a burnt offering to the Lord. God was watching...but so were the Philistines. They heard. As Samuel burnt the offering before the Lord - He acted. God thundered with a thunder so loud that it threw the mighty Philistines into a panic! Confused and scared, they ran right into the Israelites and the Israelites were ready to fight. The mighty Philistine army didn't make it out alive. Thanks to God, the Philistines were slaughtered.
God was at work being fiercely attentive and protective of His people.
How many times has my jealous God done that for me? How many times has He thundered with a loud voice, scaring my enemy right into defeat with His fierce protection of me? How many times have I been ungrateful in not remembering to praise him.
In verse 12 of chapter 7, Samuel wanted a tangible way for the people to remember the mighty work that God did for them. So he took a large stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen (a tooth-shaped rock that was close to Mizpah). He set it so they would remember God's watchfulness in their time of need, His timeliness in answering their prayer and the mighty way that he thundered scaring and running the Philistines right into their arms so they could be defeated.
I want to remember. I never want to forget the mighty way that God has worked miracles in my life. He is a jealous God and deserves to be praised.
This is my Ebenezer stone.
It hangs on the wall in my bedroom. It is the first thing I see in the morning when I wake up and the last thing I see before going to sleep. It centers me. It refocuses me. And it reminds me of a God who fights, protects, and carries me like a child to the very end of my battles. For that I am grateful.
What is your Ebenezer stone?
My prayer today:
Father God, You are deserving of our praise- for not only the way You work in our lives today but the way that you have performed miracles in the lives of our ancestors. You have performed might works for us since the beginning of time. You are working on our behalf every minute of the day.
For that we are grateful and for that we choose to remember.
We adore You. Amen.