The Ebenezer Memorial: A Testament of Divine Assistance

1 Samuel 7:12
Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.

Samuel is setting up a memorial stone by which to commemorate what The Lord had done for them! Now, just to be sure you understand the significance of this moment, the Philistines had stolen the ark of God, and it had been out of place for over 20 years. Meanwhile, the nation of Israel lamented (that is, they prayed with weeping) after The Lord over their loss. The longer the ark was gone, the more they realized what they were missing. It wasn’t just the ark, but it was the God of the ark. And any time God’s presence and power is on reserve because of your sin, you begin to miss God a whole lot more than you ever thought you would! That said, Israel began to pray, and God began to listen.

Long story short, after they had repented, gotten rid of their false gods, and begun to serve The Lord ONLY again, God heard the prayer of Samuel on their behalf, and gave them a great victory against the Philistines, the ones who had stolen the ark in the first place. Now, it is important to understand that if you want to get the presence and power of God back in your life, then you must defeat whatever it was that took them. Cure the disease, and the symptoms will also be cured. For Israel (and for us), the disease was sin, and the symptoms were (and are) a loss of God’s favor, blessings, power, provisions, and victory.

This leads me to now point out that Samuel, having named the memorial Ebenezer, was making a symbolic statement testifying of the God of restoration. How so? Well, if you remember, the location at which the nation of Israel lost the ark was also a place named Ebenezer. In essence, this stone was a testimony to the fact that God had restored what had been lost; namely, the presence, power, and favor of God! Furthermore, the word Ebenezer in our text literally means “stone of help”! Aren’t you glad that the Rock of Ages is still a very present HELP in our times of trouble?!

This stone was to testify to future generations of the help you can receive of the Lord when you call upon His name! And what do you know? It won’t be long and Israel will be introduced to a shepherd boy named David, who will win a great victory against a great giant with a “stone of help” from a slingshot! But he won’t just pick up one stone out of the brook for the battle, but he’ll pick up five of them! However, he will only need ONE of them! Can I tell you this; of all of your weapons of defense and strategies for winning, you only need Jesus!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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