“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 (1 Samuel 7:12).TEXT — 1 Samuel 7:3-12
Many people go through life without noting significant milestones and turning points that changed their situations and affected their fortunes for the better. The result is that they ignore or miss opportunities to show gratitude to God.
In our text, the Israelites had been estranged from the Lord. It was left to Samuel to call them to return to the Lord in repentance, abandon their idols and be prepared to serve the Lord. Only then will He deliver them from their enemies. They promptly obeyed. Not only did they repent, they also gathered at Mizpeh so Samuel could pray for them.
As they fasted and confessed their sins, the Philistines planned an attack against them. Fearful, the people pleaded with Samuel to pray for them. He obliged, and after performing the burnt offering of a lamb, “cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him”. The enemies launched the attack; nonetheless, the Lord thundered mightily from heaven, frustrated the Philistines and wiped out their troops. All the Israelites were left to do was conduct a mop up operation against the Philistines. To remember this great deliverance, Samuel set up a memorial there and called it Ebenezer, meaning, “hitherto hath the Lord helped us”.
As we come to the end of the year, we too can look back at all the battles the enemy waged against us, the times of perplexity, uncertainty and utter despair, the times of tough challenges and massive onslaught against our souls, when it appeared as if we were alone, and that the Lord was not with us. Then, we remember God’s timely intervention in our situations, and the numerous victories the Lord won for us. Remembering God’s goodness in the fading year, enables us to cope with the present, and march into the future with confidence and hope.
Thought for the day
We face the future with confidence because He who knows tomorrow has led us thus far.
- in one year
- REVELATION 21 – 22