This is the eighth in a series of articles about stones in the Bible. We know that stones were used as an instrument of capital punishment in Israel, but these articles consider stones in a different light. Instead of a weapon of judgment, we will “pick up” stones that will be stones of instruction. These “stones” will “teach” us and help us remember our God. Today’s stone is a stone of help.
Throughout the Bible, stones have had great significance. The past weeks we’ve covered:
Stone 1: A Stone and a Name—in Genesis and Exodus
Stone 2: A Stone of Rest—a pillow of comfort in Genesis
Stone 3: A Stone Covered Well in Genesis
Stone 4: A “Mizpah” Stone of Blessing—and God’s faithful watch in Genesis
Stone 5: A Stone of Precious Promise—Jesus, My Rock
Stone 6: A Stone of Foundation and Victory—Jesus, My Banner
Stone 7: A Stone of Deliverance and Memorial—Jesus, My Saviour
[12 stones you can’t pick up, but you need to know are there]
This week…Stone #8
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
This stone is a stone of help. In 1 Samuel we find a stone that reminds us that God has promised to be our help in all things. It serves as an assurance that His help is always present, proven, ready, and reliable.
In Kirjathjearim (10 mi W of Jerusalem), Samuel instructed the people to turn from false gods and return to the God of Israel. Samuel also promised the people that God would deliver them from the hands of the Philistines (1 Sam 7:2-3). The people did as Samuel instructed and Samuel then called upon the Lord for His help (1 Sam 7:4-5).
When the lords of the Philistines came against the Israelites, the people feared and 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.” (1 Samuel 7:7-8) Samuel then made an offering unto the Lord and “the Lord heard him.” (1 Samuel 7:9).
The people had shown their faith in the promise of God and they sought Samuel, God’s anointed, to intercede for them. God, in His goodness and faithfulness, responded with the deliverance of His people from harm.
1 Samuel 7:10-11 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. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them.
Once again God protected His people. The victory was the Lord’s and the people were preserved. The help that the Lord had given them was memorialized when “… 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.
Ebenezer literally means “stone of help.” The Lord is our Ebenezer Stone. He is our ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). We must remember His promises. . . “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Hebrews 13:6
Take your Ebenezer Stone of Help and add it to the stone memorial.
1: A Stone and a Name—in Genesis and Exodus
2: A Stone of Rest—a pillow of comfort in Genesis
3: A Stone Covered Well in Genesis
4: A “Mizpah” Stone of Blessing—and God’s faithful watch in Genesis
5: A Stone of Precious Promise—Jesus, My Rock
6: A Stone of Foundation and Victory—Jesus, My Banner
7: A Stone of Deliverance and Memorial—Jesus, My Saviour
[12 stones you can’t pick up, but you need to know are there]
8: A Stone of Help in 1 Samuel–an Ebenezer Stone—Jesus, My Hep
9: A Stone of Remembrance of God’s Power and Provision—Jesus, My Provision
10: A Stone of Praise—Jesus, My King
11 & 12: A Lively Stone in a Living Stone —Jesus, in whom we live, and move, and have our being.
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