Another of my passions besides the word of God is the beautiful hymns that are sung each Sunday in Worship. Periodically I plan on examining some of the theology within these treasures. Many of us may not be able to quote scripture word for word, but after a chord or two we can bring out truths set to melody in the form of a God-inspired hymn.
Robert Robinson’s Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing is a beautiful hymn to reflect upon. However for the uninformed the second verse brings confusion five words in. The Ebenezer mentioned here is not a reference to Mr. Scrooge, but to the Priest Samuel.
In 1 Samuel 7:7-12 we find the origin of Ebenezer. The children of Israel were in a tight spot. The Philistines stand before the army of Israel and great fear has fallen upon the camp. It was in this time of fear that the army knew who to turn to. The text tells us that they called on Samuel the priest with this petition: Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. The Israelites knew where their salvation would come from. Only God could rescue them. Samuel prayed, God provided the victory, and a memorial was placed in this place, now dubbed Ebenezer. The word means the stone of help. Samuel wanted the children of Israel to have a definitive place where they could look back and say that God really took care of me. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, today’s miracles of God become tomorrow’s afterthought. Often we forget to give God the credit that is due for his work in our lives. For me I have many moments where I can say that God truly helped me. From the profoundness of the day of my salvation, to every Sunday when I step into the pulpit to preach the word of God. He is my help, my salvation. Do you have a moment in your life you can look back and say that it was only by the grace of God that I made it through? Do you have an Ebenezer? Once we focus in on the goodness of God in our lives can we sing proudly the second verse:
Here I raise my Ebenezer, Hither by thy help I’m come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.