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May 8, 2016, 2:04 PM

Pastor's Post - May 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

I guess you could title my post this month,  “Raising an Ebenezer.”

In the Old Testament, we read:

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mitzpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us (1 Samuel 7:12).”

In our studies of the books of the Old Testament we have seen that it was the custom of the Hebrew people to set up a stone at any place where God had worked on the behalf of His people. We have always referred to these stones as memorial stones. However, I recently read that Jewish people gave them a particular name, calling them an “Ebenezer,” or “Stone of Help.” Samuel set one up when God intervened and saved them from the Philistines. It served as a reminder of where and how God intervened to help His people.

When Jacob fled for his life after deceiving his father Isaac and stealing his brother Esau’s birthright, Jacob had the dream of the stairs to Heaven. The next morning he set up a stone to make the place where God had comforted him in the dream. When Israel entered the Promised Land by crossing the divinely dried up Jordan River, Joshua commanded the leaders of each tribe to take a stone from the riverbed. They carried those stones to where they camped and set them up to remember God’s miraculous intervention in the laws of nature to bring them safe and dry into their new home. There are many other examples of God’s people raising up memorial stones / Ebenezers to remember God’s goodness.

Often times I hear people say, “It was a God thing.” I think they are describing what they perceive to be an Ebenezer; God stepping into our lives to help us when we need it most. Maybe it would be good to set up a few stones in our lives to remind us God is present and comes to the aid of His people. Maybe it is a literal rock. Maybe it is a stone with words of remembrance written on it. Maybe it is as simple as a cross, which has served God’s people for 2000 years as the greatest Ebenezer of them all – the place where God stepped in to help His people!

 

Together in His Service,

Pastor Matt


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