“Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means 'the stone of help'), for he said, 'Up to this point the LORD has helped us!'” (1 Samuel 7:12).
I went through the typical motions while filling out the form. First name. Last name. Address. Our family was about to head down the Truckee River, and I was tasked with renting the rafts. Phone number. Email. Age. Age? For the first time I wrote, “40.” I smiled and thanked God. So far, so good.
The Philistines were the suppressors of ancient Israel. They took their swords and lands, and Israel responded. Under Samuel’s leadership, Israel revived as a people and trusted in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They prayed. They repented. And God gave them victory. Their land was recovered. Finally, a bit of rest was theirs.
Samuel set down a stone and gave it a name. “Ebenezer,” he said, a name which means “stone of help.” Why this name? “Up to this point the LORD has helped us!” (1 Samuel 7:12). Samuel’s stone would serve as a marker of how far God had taken his people. They had further to go, but it was good to remember just how far they’d come.
We are to be a people who celebrate God’s work in our lives. The generation which came out of Egypt forgot all God had done for them, and we ought not to repeat the error. We must remember. We must set down the Ebenezer stone, so to speak, and declare with joy how far God has taken us.
7 Categories Of Remembrance:
1 Your personal relationship with God.
How much has he taught you? How patient has he been? Think of the sanctification he has worked in you and rejoice.
2 Your church community.
God has worked in your church family. He has been faithful up to this point. Celebrate his provision. Rejoice at how he has used various seasons for his glory.
3 Your health.
You are here. You are alive. God has used sickness and health, good times and bad for his purposes.
4 Your career.
How far has he taken you? How has he shaped this category of your life? How far have you come?
5 Your friendships.
Whom has he put in your life? Where are those relationships today?
6 Your family.
Has he given you a spouse or children? Celebrate his help up to this point. Ask him for greater strength for the days to come.
7 Your life.
We are all a work in progress. We often sabotage and interfere with God’s work in us. But consider and celebrate his work in your life. Praise him for how far he has taken you.
From time to time it is good to set down our own Ebenezer stone, to celebrate God's faithfulness up to this point in our lives. The cross of Christ should turn us into a most grateful people, so sometimes we must stop and consider how good God has been to deliver us thus far.