1 Samuel 7: 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah,and named it Ebenezer;for he said, "Thus far the Lord has helped us."
I greet you in the peace, power, grace and love of Christ our Lord.
What devices do you use to remember?
A string around your finger.
A bell on your cell phone.
A to-do list on your refrigerator.
A pebble in your shoe.
A friend to give you a courtesy call.
Any one of these, plus others (for me it's notes to self on an index card nicely slipped in a pocket) can be used to call something to mind which can easily be forgotten. Even with these clever tools, we still tend to forget, don't we?
Short term faith memory loss and long term spiritual amnesia are realities which also necessitate tools to remind and remember. Throughout the biblical story, people are forgetting the countless ways God had blessed and brought them through difficult days. In essence, the biblical story is written for us to never forget the acts of God in the past so we can boldly live with faith today.
So the people don't forget the acts of God, the prophet/judge Samuel erects a stone of remembrance, an Ebenezer or stone of help before the people. The Israelites had been protected from the reach of their enemies and returned to God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. The Ebenezer would forever remind them of what was and cause them to remember the promises of what can be.
Where would you place an Ebenezer? Where are the places in your life God has been a help? Take a moment in prayer and think of the places God has met you individually and led us collectively? There are countless situations where God's help has been present:
Yes, indeed when we take time to remember, we can boldly declare, "Thus far the Lord has helped us." And with boldness let us proclaim the reminder, "Going forward, the Lord will help us."
Love, Pastor G