Ebenezer

The Ebenezer is The Stone of Help.  It is a stone erected to remind people of a time when God has helped them.  In class one of my students asked how we could be constantly reminded that we are in the presence of God.  It is one of those things that we too quickly forget.  I suggested that we need a monument or icon of some kind.  As Haase suggests in his book, Coming Home to Your True Self, we need to have a reminder like the letter “P” placed in locations where we will see it and be reminded.  I suggested to my class that they write P on their wall, get a charm bracelet, a necklace or some kind of other reminder.  I couldn’t quite say that they should get a tattoo.  However, Protestants have lost the art of using icons to help remind them of greater truths.  The Israelites knew how to set up a monument to bring right thinking about God – we set up monuments to 9/11, The Vietnam War, and Lincoln – why don’t we set one up to remind us about God?

1 Samuel 7:5-17

5 Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the LORD for you.” 6 When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the LORD.” Now Samuel was serving as leader[a]of Israel at Mizpah.

 7 When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. When the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. 8 They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. He cried out to the LORD on Israel’s behalf, and the LORD answered him.

 10 While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. 11The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar.

 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer,[b]saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”

 13 So the Philistines were subdued and they stopped invading Israel’s territory. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines. 14The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored to Israel, and Israel delivered the neighboring territory from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

 15 Samuel continued as Israel’s leader all the days of his life. 16 From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places. 17 But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also held court for Israel. And he built an altar there to the LORD.

Questions

  1. What did the Israelites say at Mizpah?
  2. What did God do for them at Mizpah?
  3. How did Israel remember what God had done?
  4. How has God helped you?
  5. How could you set up some kind of reminder that God is present with you each moment?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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13 Responses to Ebenezer

  1. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. At Mizpah, they confessed their sins before the Lord and they asked Moses to intercede for them. Also, for God to rescue them from the Philistines.
    2. God delivered the Philistines into the hands of the Israelites.
    3. they remembered Him by placing a stone in the place where God gave them victory. they named the stone Ebenezer.
    4. Spiritually, He sustains me. Physically, He protects me from harm. Financially, He has provided whatever I have needed, including school bills, needs, and wants.
    5. Whatever I have on my person reminds me of His presence.

  2. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.What did the Israelites say at Mizpah?
    -Israelites fasted and confessed to God “We have sinned against the LORD”
    2.What did God do for them at Mizpah?
    – God rescued Israelites from Philistines with loud thunder against the Philistines who were attacking Israelites crying out to God.
    3.How did Israel remember what God had done?
    – They set up a stone called Ebenezer to remember God’s delieverance from their enemy.
    4.How has God helped you?
    – He has provided me good people comforting me and whom I can serve whenever I have felt that I didn’t deserve.
    5.How could you set up some kind of reminder that God is present with you each moment?
    -I’ve got a special bracelet. 🙂

  3. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. They asked Samuel to continue to intercede for them to the Lord that He would save them from the Philistines.
    2. He cause the Philistines to go into a panic and they did not attack the Israelites.
    3. They set up a stone to remember what God had done.
    4. God has helped me in so many ways, but the most recent has been to sustain me through some really hard times.
    5. I could pick a word that describes it and have it in different places where I will see it.

  4. Amy Kringle says:

    1. They said “we have sinned against the Lord.”
    2. God saved them from the Philistines.
    3. They set up a stone, named it Ebeneezer, which means “so far the Lord has helped us”
    4. He has helped me understand what it means to forgive others so that relationships are not broken, but restored.
    5. Put some word on the screen of my phone, to be reminded each time I look at it

  5. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1.What did the Israelites say at Mizpah?
    – They confessed that they have sinned against the Lord.

    2.What did God do for them at Mizpah?
    – God helped the Israelites so that they could win over the Philistines.

    3.How did Israel remember what God had done?
    – Samuel set up a stone between Mizpah and Shen, and they named it Ebenezer.

    4.How has God helped you?
    – He has helped me through strong Christians around me; He uses them as a cheerer, challenger, helper, comforter etc. for my life to be bountiful of His gracious and to remember Him always.

    5.How could you set up some kind of reminder that God is present with you each moment?
    – I would keep a little cross wherever I go.

  6. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. The Israelites said that they had sinned against the Lord.
    2. The Lord made a loud thunder and sent the Philistines into a panic.
    3. Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and named it Ebenezer
    4. God has helped me by providing for me getting into Moody and providing for the progressive healing of my mom’s cancer.
    5. I could put a picture in my Bible that reminds me of what the Lord has done, like a picture of my mom or my acceptance letter to Moody, remindimg me of God’s goodness and faithfulness in His provision,

  7. aaron wright says:

    1. They said that they sinned against God.
    2. Handed over the philistines to them
    3. stone called Ebenezer
    4. He forgives me and gives me strength and hope each new day.
    5. write it on a sticky note! tatoo

  8. Rebecca Langer says:

    What did the Israelites say at Mizpah?
    They confessed and said “we have sinned against the Lord.”
    What did God do for them at Mizpah?
    He gave them victory over the Phuilistines.
    How did Israel remember what God had done?
    They erected a monument (a stone).
    How has God helped you?
    God has helped me by bringing me to Moody, growing me spiritually, giving me every good thing that I have.
    How could you set up some kind of reminder that God is present with you each moment?
    I could make a bracelet where the different strings mean different things to remind me.

  9. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. At Mizpah, the Israelites said that they had sinned against the LORD.
    2. God forgave them at Mizpah, and because of this he saved them from the attack of the Philistines by a storm.
    3. Israel remembered what God had done by setting up a stone and naming it Ebenezer.
    4. God has helped me by getting me through difficult situations emotionally, physically, academically, and spiritually.
    5. I could put something on my phone, so that every time I look at it I remember that God is present with me.

  10. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) They said that they had sinned against the Lord.
    2) He gave them the victory by thundering against the Philistines!
    3) They built an altar to the Lord.
    4) He has given me indescribable peace in hard times.
    5) I could put a Bible verse in my planner, reminding me that God is with me at all times!

  11. Moon [ED 2203;Mon 6:00pm class] says:

    1.What did the Israelites say at Mizpah? they confessed their sin to God
    2.What did God do for them at Mizpah? God protected them from the Philistines
    3.How did Israel remember what God had done? they set up a stone call Ebenezer to remember what God had done for them
    4.How has God helped you? I never ceased to teach me what He is in me and works in my life for me through different circumstances.
    5.How could you set up some kind of reminder that God is present with you each moment?my reminder could be the Bible. The Bible is the best reminder that God is present with me, since He has taught me things through the Bible.

  12. Grace Yoo says:

    1. At Mizpah, the Israelites said that they have sinned against the Lord.

    2. God helped them to win against the Philistines.

    3. They set up a stone between Mizpah and Shen and named it Ebenezer.

    4. God has helped me in numerous ways that I cannot call them all out. He has blessed me with my life and all the wonderful things He has done in my life.

    5. I could set up a reminder that God is present with me each moment by having the Bible with me and living a life of prayer.

  13. Melissa Morris says:

    1. They confessed their sin to the Lord.
    2. He gave them favor and protected them.
    3. They set up a stone and named it Ebenezer.
    4. God has helped me to have life… like, He has truly shown me the truth and has restored me out of a darkness that cannot be described.
    5. Honestly, I think the idea of getting a tattoo is great for a visual person with a Bible verse or something. For me personally though, I just feel God’s constant presence all the time.

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