The common phrase you hear in a familiar hymn. We’ve sung it out in worship a million times, but do we truly understand what it means? It is a phrase of praise, yes, but it is honestly so much more than just that.
I am fearful. I get scared easily. God places me in situations that I don’t feel equipped for and that I don’t think that I can get through. When I’m in the midst of these times I let the enemy’s lies of unworthiness and comparison creep into the depths of my mind and I lie down, defeated by my own thoughts. I then seek out my loving and faithful heavenly Father, crying out for a piece of hope. He provides. He shows me His never-ending goodness. He shows me His faithfulness. He pulls me out of the slimy pit of lies and points me to His Truth. The Truth of His holiness and redemption. The God of the Universe takes time to take care of and comfort little, small me. He shows me a glimmer of hope. Time and time again I find myself in this situation, broken down to be built back up. And He never hesitates to do it over and over again.
Time and time again I find myself in this situation, broken down to be built back up. And He never hesitates to do it over and over again. I am reminded of the hope that He brings to me. I raise my Ebenezer.
In 1 Samuel 7, the Israelites are in war with the Philistines and, because of Samuel, all of the Israelites have committed themselves to the Lord, our God. The Philistines hear that Israel has all gathered together, they went to attack them. The Israelites were drowned in fear, afraid of what was going to happen. Samuel continues to cry out to the Lord to help the Israelites and sacrificed a lamb. The Lord listened and responded by sending loud thunder onto the Philistines while they were en route to attack. This put them in panic, and allowed for the Israelites to take over attack them. Israel defeated the Philistines and there was peace. Samuel, who has become a leader of the Israelites during this time, takes a stone and named it Ebenezer, meaning stone of help, to be reminded of what the Lord did for them.
That is the background of this phrase. When we sing, “here I raise my Ebenezer”, we are acknowledging the blessings that God has given us and reminded that He is always there, no matter how far we run from Him, with open arms ready to embrace us as His beloved child. It is a symbol of help and of hope, of the constant faithfulness of our Maker. The ultimate planner of our lives and the one who has blessed us immensely.
I still get scared, it is human nature, when I find myself in a moment where I feel helpless. But it is in this that I am reminded of my Ebenezer, my stone of help. The only kind of help that can completely solve our problems, help from the Lord. I challenge you, to find your Ebenezer, whether that be a building you pass every day, an item you keep on your bedside table, your bible, something in your car, whatever it may be! Pick something and remember that it is your Ebenezer. When you see it, you can be reminded of the times you have been at your lowest, and how God pulled you back to the top. You are reminded of the multitude of blessings that He has provided for you and all of the difficult times that He has gotten you through. A symbol of help and of hope.
The next time you sing this song of praise, you can see the amazing meaning it truly has. It is a phrase of praise, worship, revitalization, redemption, peace, holiness, joy, and hope.
Here I raise my Ebenezer. Thank you, Jesus.