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.

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Do not be anxious about anything.  (Phil 4:6)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control.  Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19.  As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.” 

Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it:  Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live:  Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.

God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble.  When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.  

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19

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Be Ready Always...

to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15).  When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.

When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.  

By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.

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(click to read the messages)

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