Sunday, April 11, 2010


What a day! All Israel assembled - people coming from all over in repentance, affirming their commitment to return to God. Many had traveled since dawn; some had started days before. Samuel pleaded with God for them while the people fasted and confessed. Yet just as it seemed that God would show mercy a rumor of terror swept through the crowds. Their enemies, the Philistines, had heard of their meeting and were already closing in on them. The people begged Samuel to continue praying for them, hoping for rescue.

There was no doubt that God had heard. A thunderclap which shook the ground caused panic and confusion amongst their enemies. Within hours the remaining Philistines were miles away, fleeing in fear.

Then Samuel did a curious thing. Before all the people he took a great stone lying by the road and had it set on end in a prominent location. He gave it a name. He called it Ebenezer (meaning stone of help), saying "Thus far the Lord has helped us"
(my retelling of the story in 1 Samuel 7)

When was your latest Ebenezer placed? What was the occasion? Perhaps, like myself, you need to learn to choose larger, more obvious stones as markers - something not easily overlooked.

I will close with a few lines from one of my favourite hymns:
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
(Robert Robinson)

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