1 Samuel 7:12 (NKJV)
“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’”
Human beings have a bad habit of forgetting. I’m not sure if it’s the product of our sinful nature or if it’s something physiological. But we have such short memories – especially of the good things the Lord has done for us. Because life is never a straight line, it’s important we grow in the discipline of remembering the past – especially, remembering the miracles of God in our lives.
Life will repeatedly throw us curve balls, and these balls may hit us in ways and at times that we least expect. These curve balls can be very painful and, at times, devastating. When we get hit, and we fall, and we feel the sting of confusion and destitution, that is when we need to remember God and His dealings with us in the past. Remembering is a key discipline we need to cultivate as pilgrims, because there will be many times Satan will do things and say things to make us doubt God’s goodness and faithfulness. We need to remember Ebenezer at such times. We need to keep track of our Ebenezers – because at your Ebenezer, you confessed, “Thus far, the Lord has helped me.”
That’s what Samuel did. He took a stone and set it up as a memoir because He wanted the people to remember the place where and the time when God thundered, and gave them a great victory. Samuel knew that they would face many other battles, and while he could not guarantee the result of future battles, he wanted them to remember for sure, their victory today. “Ebenezer. Thus far, the Lord helped us.” What a memoir. What a phrase. What a name. In my understanding, what the memoir was simply declaring was this: “We have seen the faithfulness of God up to this point, and we want to remember it because no matter what happens in the future, we will never forget God’s character of faithfulness.” Amen.
Every victory God gives us is supposed to be an Ebenezer. We need to grow in the discipline of marking down our Ebenezers. I am in a good place today, and I am experiencing such Holy Spirit favors on every side. But I know that hard days will come. I know there will be times when the voice of God may be scarce. I know there will be times when I may cry from the pains of the battles I must fight. Yet, one thing I pray for, is the grace to remember my Ebenezer today. I need to set up my stones as I journey. You need to set up your stones as you journey. I do not wish you hard days, but they will come. Set up your Ebenezer’s now so that you have something to hold on to when those contrary winds blow.
Enjoy your Ebenezer today. Enjoy it to the fullest. Let the joy of your Ebenezer season soak in fully. It’s great to celebrate when God thunders on your behalf. The joy of your Ebenezer season is worth savoring for a long time. But remember, the Philistines you defeated today will come back tomorrow for a rematch. May your victories today give you courage to fight tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after. Amen.