April 11; Ebenezer (Not Scrooge)

I Samuel 6-9

Do you remember what it was like the day you gave your heart to Jesus? Do you remember the relief, and that overwhelming sense of love? Can you recall the purity in your relationship with God, that precious gift of salvation that Jesus died to give you?

For some of us, that day has been decades ago. Some of us were saved as children, and our encounter with Jesus Christ kept us from living ungodly lifestyles. Some of us were saved later in life, and realize the pain that comes from living life without God. Either way, the choice to surrender to Jesus was a decision that changed our lives. Do you remember it?

Israel had won a victory over their enemy, and the Ark of God was finally home. They were saved, and God’s Presence was among them once again. Samuel didn’t want them to ever forget what God had done for them.

So he built an Ebenezer. He set up a stone to mark the spot, a reminder for generations to come about the salvation of the Lord. “Thus far has the Lord helped us,” he said in chapter 7.

It wasn’t something to worship. It was to remind them why they worshiped.

I sometimes wear a cross around my neck. I guess that could be an Ebenezer in that it reminds me what Jesus did for me on a cross. My nephew’s wife has a tattoo on her wrist that says, “Agape,” to remind her how God’s love changed her life.

An Ebenezer is a tangible reminder of God’s blessings, a way to go back and appreciate what God has done. What is that for me? Even now, as I sit here thinking about this passage, I find it hard to remember the day Jesus saved me. I don’t often think about that moment when my sins were washed away, when my Savior wrapped me up in His righteousness.

But maybe I should. Samuel thought it was important. God must think it’s important or He wouldn’t have inspired this passage to be included in His Word. So let me encourage all of us to consider putting up an Ebenezer to remind us what God has done for us, what He has saved us from, and how He has helped us get this far.

When was the last time you sang Robert Robinson’s hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing?” It’s been a while for me, so I looked up the lyrics. So powerful! Look at the second verse:

Here I raise my Ebenezer;

Here by Thy great help I’ve come.

And I hope, by Thy good pleasure

Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger

Wandering from the fold of God.

He, to rescue me from danger

Interposed His precious blood.

All four verses are so amazing. I hope you’ll take time to read then. It might take a bit of effort to understand the outdated phrases from the 1700’s, but it’s so worth it.

Let’s not forget what Jesus did and what He saved us from. Let’s raise our Ebenezer and praise His Name.

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