Where We Came From

1 Samuel 7:12 [Full Chapter]

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
My church family celebrated an amazing, God given milestone last week.. After service, I was standing with a brother talking about the providence of God and what a blessing our church family is. Soon, as is often the case when discussing the things of God, our conversation turned to scripture and, in this case, Ebenezer Stones.
No, I’m not talking about a stone in memory of Scrooge. I am referring to a place marker; a remembrance of where we have been, of where we come from. In this case, Samuel was marking Gods providence in the life of the nation of Israel, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
We have examples throughout scripture of Ebenezer stones, place markers being laid in reverence and praise to God’s sovereignty and providence in the lives of believers. We all have Ebenezer stones in our lives and I would wager that, after some thought you could come up several.
It is interesting that before they were named Ebeneezer, God’s children, on many occasions set up memorial place markers. After all of the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan, the Lord commanded His children:

Joshua 4:1-4 New King James Version the (NKJV)

The Memorial Stones

And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying: “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, and command them,  it took to get us here saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’”

Just as it was important for the children of Israel to set up remembrance points during their walk with the Lord; it is important for us to do the same. We must remember where we came from and whom it took to get us here. The profit Samuel said it, ” Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

The Ebenezer stones can be any thing that serves as a reminder of the past, of the times that God was there to carry you through. It doesn’t need to be a reminder of a dark time, but it can be. Here are some examples to get you thinking about the Ebenezer Stones in your own life. Prior to moving into our current building, my church met in a school. During service, the congregation sat on the hard plastic chairs found in most public school lunch rooms. In our sanctuary today, interspersed throughout the room which is filled with comfortable chairs, are a few of the hard plastic ones from the school. These are reminders, memory stones, Ebenezers. They bring to remembrance where we came from as a church and bring glory to God.

I have Ebenezers of my own: a beat up motorcycle jacket, a hospital bracelet, a bible that was given to me in 1983 by my uncle, and a hand written, speech that I delivered before three congregations after a mission trip to Mexico in 1985. All of these items bring back memories forms specific times in my life. Each one reminds me of a time when God was with me in a tangible way.

The Ebenezer stones in your live are place markers. They bring back to remembrance your testimony. It is through your testimony that you connect with God and further, connect others to Him. There is power in your story.

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
What are your Ebenezers? If you haven’t thought about it in a while or if it never occurred to you at all; I encourage you to give it some thought. Prayerfully consider your testimony and reflect on your journey. It will encourage you as you walk forward in the spirit to know where you came from and who it ws that got you here.
I would also encourage you to share your story. No matter what it is. If you were blessed to be brought up in a Godly home, share it! There is the power of God in it. If not, or if you walked away as I did, share it being careful not to revel in the, ” Good ol’ days.” Because they weren’t good. They represented a time when you were dead in sin. The good old days started when God through His mercy and grace delivered you from death by the blood of Jesus Christ.
I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
Grace and Peace,
LD

 

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