The song Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing proclaims, “Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I’ve come.”
This is a reference to 1 Samuel 7:12 where Samuel raised a stone and called it Ebenezer. The stone was named the “stone of help” to be a continual reminder to the Israelites of the help God had provided for them in their battle against the Philistines.1 Samuel 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone... and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath Jehovah helped us.
Throughout the Old Testament we see a pattern of God’s followers setting up visual reminders of God and what He had done for them.
In Deuteronomy the Israelites were told that they should be continually reminded of God and what He had done for them “lest they forget the Lord”.Deuteronomy 6:6-12 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
When did we stop doing this, and should we start doing it again? When this practice of erecting visual reminders of God and His blessings fell by the wayside, and I think it did to our detriment. So what should we do today? I don’t think that piling up rocks in our front yard is expected of us, but we can apply the same concept to our lives today.
What if, at the head of our bed, were the words of Psalm 4:8? A visual reminder before we went to sleep every night that we can sleep peacefully because of the safety that God provides for us?Psalm 4:8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
What if our children’s rooms were decorated with the words of 1 Samuel 1:27? What if they grew up with a visual reminder every day knowing that since before they were born we had been praying for them? Where would that teach them to put their faith?1 Samuel 1:27 For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him.
When surrounded by a culture that tells them that their self-worth can be found in physical beauty, we can dress our daughters in shirts emblazoned with Psalm 139:14. Let them know, and proclaim to the world, that their worth is found in their creator and the love and wonder that He exhibited in creating each of them.Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
We can raise our own Ebenezer’s today, “lest we forget”. They’ll be a message to not just ourselves but the world, too.
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