Stone of help. That’s what Ebenezer means.
It’s a Bible name. For a rock. Samuel sets up a stone between Mizpah and Shen. He calls it Ebenezer. He says, “So far, God has helped us.”
That’s the end of the story. It started with Israel being tired of what was happening in their spiritual lives. They felt like God had abandoned them. They came to Samuel who said, “Duh.”
Actually, he said, “Quit following so many gods, covering your divine bets. Pick one. Pick God.”
So the people came to Mizpah for a prayer meeting. It was actually more of a confessing fasting mourning meeting, led by Samuel. They spent the whole day telling God that they were ready to focus. (And tossed their idols.)
And then the Philistines showed up.
The Philistines had been picking on the Israelites for a long time. That was part of the reason for the sense of abandonment. They heard that Israel was gathered and figured this was a perfect time for a lesson.
And Israel said to Samuel, “Keep praying. God might listen to you.” And Samuel did. And God did.
A loud thunder. A huge explosion. An enormous sonic boom.
And the Philistines took off and Israel followed.
And Samuel set up a stone to say, “God did it. You didn’t. All you did was turn to God twice. Once to repent, once to trust.” And Samuel spent the rest of his life helping them understand what this meant.
This is the 500th post at 300wordsaday.com. Some have been reruns. My friend Paul has written several and Rich has helped with a couple more. It seemed right to stop and leave this little stone as a reminder of what God has done for me these past several nights.
And then keep teaching.