What is an Ebenezer?

It’s another rainy day here as I read my daily devotions from I Samuel 7. The Ark of the Covenant had been returned to Israel and Samuel was appointed judge over Israel. The Philistines were coming to attack the Israelites and Samuel was preparing a lamb as a whole burnt offering unto the Lord. That day the Israelites gained victory over the Philistines and Samuel placed a boulder in that spot to commemorate the victory. He called the rock Ebenezer,

Literally speaking, an Ebenezer is a “stone of help,” or a reminder of God’s Real, Holy Presence and Divine aid. Spiritually and theologically speaking, an Ebenezer can be nearly anything that reminds us of God’s presence and help: the Bible, the Sacramental Elements, a cross, a picture, a fellow believer, a hymn – those things which serve as reminders of God’s love, God’s Real Presence, and God’s assistance are “Ebenezers.” [http://www.revneal.org/Writings/whatsan.htm] 

So today I use this space to worship. Andrea Dawn gave us the words to “Come Thou Fount” in the comment section a couple of days ago. I was reminded of this when I read about the stone marker called Ebenezer because the word Ebenezer is found in the second verse of this hymn. “Here I raise mine Ebenezer…” Now I understand more clearly what that is, my Ebenezer is the Lord. He is my rock, my stone of help. And so, I am lead to worship as The David Crowder Band sings “Come Thou Fount.”



6 comments on “What is an Ebenezer?

  1. That so tickles me that you would explain what an Ebenezer was . . . I have always wondered when I sing that, but for some reason never looked into it. I almost always look up things I wonder about and words I don’t know the meaning of .

    A stone of help . . . a rock of remembrance.
    Feeling enlarged,
    Andrea Dawn

  2. Today I watched a program about the Navajo Indians, and it brought out so many of their beliefs and traditions and wisdom. I was amazed a how important it was within the tribal families to pass down that wisdom, etc., to their children, not only in words, but in heirloom trinkets, skills and crafts, ways of life, and places of sacred and historic significance. I was a little jealous. It seems that Christianity has shifted to the other end of the seesaw, and we have NONE of that. Our pastor is going through the book of Joshua on Thursday nights, and last week he was SOOOOO good as he talked about the “stones of remembrance” that they picked up from the middle of the River Jordan.

    Many, many years ago, I was struggling to find out what was real and what wasn’t in my spiritual life — what was truly mine, or what was just “brainwashed” into my thinking without a true heart change and desire. Towards the end of that troubled time, I was driving late at night, and there had been a storm previously. I hit a patch of muddy seaweed that had come up over the road, and my van slid into the water. I was able to climb out, and I walked quite a ways before I came to a phone booth (remember those???). On that walk, I asked God if there was anything at all left for me. What came back was Phil. 1:6 –“He that hath begun a good work in you will preform it until the day of Christ.” I stooped down and picked up a white stone. And there, I raised my Ebenezer! A stone of help. . . a rock of remembrance. During the next few months, as I got my life back in order, I collected 12 stones, each representing significant times with God, places of lines drawn in the sand, returns to old, well worn ways, etc.

    Thank you, Dawn, for this post today. It drew me in, and I’ve been humming that song a lot. Wish we could all just get together, bring our “stones” and tell our stories. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?????

    • Cora, I too have a collection of stones that I picked up as memorials at various times. I think my favourite one is the largest . . . and it has a large X etched in it by nature. I was down by the river one day trying, trying, trying to connect to the LORD and failing miserably. Or so I thought. Finally at one point I just cried out something to the effect of “Where am I? Where are YOU? At that point I looked down and saw this rock. It was like He was saying “You are here . . . and so am I. Relax, all will be well” . And it was.

  3. Andrea Dawn always enlarges the theoretical and Cora puts feet on it. Am I blessed by the people who drop by here? You bet I am.

    One day we will gather together, I’m sure of it! I believe it will be this side of heaven, too. Look out devil!

    Bless you,

    PS I think I will start picking up stones. I did get one this summer. I will count it as my first ebenezer.

  4. I would love to be the gatekeeper that watches you all come in…I will have my pocket full of stones… stones of remembrance … my Ebenezars with stories to tell all their own about our Saviour’s great love to us.

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