4/29 1 Samuel 7:12

12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, "Till now the LORD has helped us."

The Ark of the Covenant had been returned to Israel, but the people knew God was not pleased with them. It was a time of national repentance. The nation gathered at the city of Mizpah to fast and pray. The Philistines saw this as an opportunity to attack them again. The Israelites cried out for Samuel to intercede for them.

The LORD thundered a mighty sound and threw the Philistines into a state of confusion. Israel soundly defeated them and took back the cities the Philistines had captured. Samuel took a stone and stood it up as a marker and reminder that the LORD had helped them. He called the stone, Ebenezer, which means stone of help. During the life of Samuel, the Israelites would be free from Philistine invasions.

In the classic hymn, "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing," the second verse begins, "Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I've come." The song writer and all who sing the hymn are acknowledging that they came this far in life by the help of God. We can all put up a stone to remind ourselves of the ways God has blessed and helped us. Where would we be without His grace drawing us to Him and His word to renew our minds?

Consider: Take some time right now to give thanks for God's continual intervention in your life. Count your blessings. Raise an Ebenezer.