Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Ebenezer Stone

When the ark was in captivity, it brought plagues to the Philistine people. The false images bowed and were broken in the presence of the ark. For fear of the God of Israel the ark was returned to a place in Israel called Bethshemesh, and from there to Kirjathjearim.

1Sa 7:2 And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.
1Sa 7:3 And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.
1Sa 7:4 Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.
1Sa 7:5 And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD.
1Sa 7:6 And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.
1Sa 7:7 And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.
1Sa 7:8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.
1Sa 7:9 And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him.
1Sa 7:10 And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.
1Sa 7:11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar.
1Sa 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.

Israel missed having the Ark in the temple and by Samuel's counsel, they repented and put away their foreign idols. Satan doesn't give up easy, he always tries to disrupt the moving of God; the Philistines were coming to fight. The people cried out to Samuel, their prophet and Judge. He offered a burnt offering of a baby lamb and prayed. His prayer was answered with a voice of a great thunder that so upset the Philistines that Israel was able defeat and drive them away. The Ebenezer stone memorialized this victory. Ebenezer : God is our help (the stone of help).

If we are children of God, through faith in Jesus Christ we may call out to God ourselves, with the Lamb of God as our intercessor. Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb. God's spirit in us prays to the Father and he helps us. The Holy Spirit is our comforter and helper. He is God with us and we are as priests to God and son's of the most high God. We are the Spirit filled family of God. May I suggest that you find an Ebenezer stone of any size to remind you that God helps us? Jesus is the Rock of my salvation. I had a custom of going to a rapid place on the river for prayer. I would find a white stone and pray for a certain person and throw the stone into the living waters. These were as Ebenezer stones for God to help those that I prayed for. There was a large Ebenezer stone in Israel, but we can make our own to remember God is our help.

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