1 Samuel 7:2-16: What does "Ebenezer" mean?
The ark stays at the Israelite town of Kiriath Jearim for twenty years until David moves it to Jerusalem (see 2 Samuel 6). The return of the ark prompts repentance in Israel; they put away other gods like the Baals and Ashtoreths, and vow to serve only the Lord. Thus we see that God’s punishment of Israel was for their own sins as well as for the sins of Eli’s sons.
This leads to a great revival meeting in Israel. Samuel leads the people in a sacrificial assembly at Mispah where they openly confess their sins. While the sacrifice is being made, the Philistines attack. Samuel cries to the Lord for help and he answers with thunder against the Philistines, throwing them into a panic. Israel pursues them and wins the victory. For the rest of Samuel’s life, the hand of the Lord is against the Philistines. Samuel raises a stone as a monument to this victory, naming it Ebenezer, “the stone of help.” It is the Lord who helps his people.
What are the physical reminders you have around you that God is your “stone of help”? Discuss this with one person today.
God of love, may we trust you alone to help us and save us from all our enemies.
DR. GARY HOLLOWAY
Gary Holloway is Executive Director of the World Convention. Holding degrees from Freed-Hardeman, Harding, The University of Texas, and Emory University, he has written or edited thirty books, including (with Douglas Foster) Renewing God’s World: A Concise Global History of the Stone-Campbell Movement from ACU Press. He is married to Deb Rogers Holloway.