One of my favorite hymns is "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing."  I know that a lot of people these days have either never heard many hymns or have only heard them in the contemporary style.  The old hymns of the church are beautiful, and I hope that this post will encourage you to explore them more often.  You can find this song on YouTube if you want to listen before continuing.

If you’re one of those that haven’t heard many hymns, there are probably several words that are unfamiliar to you.  I want to focus on one word, from the second verse.


The song says, “Here I raise mine Ebenezer.”  This word isn’t just a word from 1757 when the song was written.  This is a Bible word. 

The last leader of Israel before they asked for a king was a man named Samuel.  He was the last of the judges, even though he is not included in the book of Judges, and he was also a prophet.  His story is told in the book of 1 Samuel.

In 1 Samuel 7, Israel is about to be attacked by their enemies, the Philistines.  The people beg Samuel to speak to God on their behalf, so Samuel offers a sacrifice and prays for help.  And did he ever get an answer!

“Now Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, and the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel.  But the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and confused them, so that they were routed before Israel.”  1 Samuel 7:10 (NASB).

This was a great victory for Israel.  Not only was the attack thwarted, but the Philistines left them alone for a while after this, and Israel received back some of the cities that the Philistines had taken from Israel. 

After the battle was won, “Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’” 1 Samuel 7:12 (NASB).

Ebenezer is a word that means “the stone of help.”  The stone was nothing more than a rock Samuel picked up, but it became something significant.  I don’t know how long that stone stayed there, but I’m certain it was large enough that when anyone passed by that area, they noticed it.

And they remembered.

They remembered that day when as a nation they cried out to God for help, and He answered.

If you’ve been following God for any period of time, I imagine that in your life you’ve had experiences where the Lord has intervened.  Your conversion is a big one, but there are also moments such as when He healed someone you care for or when He intervened in a difficult situation and resolved it.  You might think about the moment you discovered what He wants you to do with your life or when you had a breakthrough in dealing with a particular sin that troubles you.

Do you record those moments somehow?  I think in the rush of life, we tend to go from moment to moment without taking time to recognize important times in our lives.  What can we do to slow things down and memorialize those moments?

If you’re a writer, write about these important events in a journal.  If you’re not a writer, you might give journaling a try anyway.  It doesn’t have to be eloquent or pretty; it’s not for anyone else.  It’s simply to give you a way to go back and remember what He’s done for you.

If you’re not a writer, or even if you are, you could find a physical memento that would recall to your mind that moment.  When you realize the Lord is calling you to become a nurse, find an item that reminds you of it.  You could find a little ceramic figurine of a nurse to keep on your desk or a quote to hang on our wall.  If you want to memorialize your baptism, you could frame a picture from your baptism or purchase a picture or painting of a peaceful lake or waterfall.

If you adopt this practice, make sure you don’t just buy something and set it in your house and forget about it.  Take a little time and pray.  Thank God for what He’s done in your life, both in general and specifically in the current situation.  Recognize that the item you’ve chosen is intended to be a reminder for you, not just another knick-knack or picture on the wall.  Remind yourself of the story of Samuel and the Ebenezer.  Maybe even go back and read it.

When you notice the Ebenezer in your house or your office, let it take you back to that moment.  Remember how God took care of you, and thank Him for bringing you to where you are.

Another option is one that might come more naturally to you if you listen to music often.  Right after my husband finished his masters degree, we went through a period where money was extremely tight and not all of our bills were being paid each month.  Many of you know the feelings that come about in such an uncomfortable place. 

During that time, the song “Never Let Go” by Matt Redman was very popular.  We sang it at church almost every week.  It was on the radio several times a day.  This song became my anthem during this period of my life, knowing that He had things under control even though it all felt completely out of control.  And now that we are three years past that point in our lives, every time I hear that song, I remember how rough those months were and how He carried us through. 

During significant times in your life, pay a little closer attention to the music you listen to.  Look for that one song that resonates with you and what you’re experiencing, whether it’s good or bad, and then when you hear that song later, let it take you back to that moment and remember how God worked in your life at that time.

I don’t suggest you set up a new Ebenezer for every event in your life.  Even in Israel’s history, there are only a few times they set up memorials like this.  You can set up Ebenezers for any event you like, but I suggest making them for those times when your life is altered in a momentous way.  The direction of you life changes, your mindset shifts dramatically, or your relationship with Him is strengthened beyond what you would have expected.

Have you set up any Ebenezers in your life?  What is it, and what prompted you to set it up?

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2 Responses to Ebenezer

  1. Thanks for sharing these stirring words Kirra. Music has always played an important part of my life and it happened again after the death of my grandson. 2 weeks after his death, I stood in worship and sang, "I lift my hands to believe again, You are my refuge, You are my strength. As I pour out my heart these things I remember. You are faithful, God, forever." I raised my hands and I sang. It was a special time for me. My commitment to God was strengthened. My faith grew enormously. God had shown me His goodness and faithfulness. Thanks again for this reminder. God is faithful. Always. Grace, Donna

    1. Music is important to me as well. It's amazing how a song can take you back and even make you feel like you're in the moment again. I often recall various times in my life when I'm listening to music.


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