Date written: October 29th, 2005 Scripture ref: 1 Samuel 7:7-12
TITLE: Raising Our Ebenezer
PROPOSITION: We raise our Ebenezer when 1) we depend upon God in difficult times, 2) acknowledge God's help in prayer, 3) remember God's help in our salvation.
Objectives: That each understand God's role of help in our lives both physically and spiritually.
1. Read: 1 Samuel 7:7-12
2. About the Text:
1) It is near the end of the period of the judges.
2) The children of Israel had gone back to serving idols, again.
3) So, they had been under Philistine control for the past twenty years.
4) Samuel the prophet was now of age and preaching for the people to repent.
5) They heard his voice and put away the idols.
6) The Philistines heard about this and brought their entire army against Israel.
7) Samuel offered a lamb as sacrifice for the people and implored God to deliver them.
8) The text says that Yahweh thundered a great thunder against the Philistines.
9) Israel pursued them to a place that was between Mizpeh and Shen.
10) There, Samuel erected a stone and called it Ebenezer: the stone of help.
3. Today's application.
1) We don't hear the word "Ebenezer" too much today.
2) Around Christmas we hear of "Ebenezer Scrooge."
3) But we also sing a song, "Oh, Thou Fount of Every Blessing."
4) In it is a line, "Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I've come."
5) "Ebenezer" means "stone of help."
4. What does "help" mean?
1) To give assistance to; aid: I helped her find the book. He helped me into my coat.
2) To contribute to the furtherance of; promote.
3) To give relief to: help the needy.
4) To ease; relieve: medication to help your cold.
5) To change for the better; improve: A fresh coat of paint will help a scarred old table.
6) To refrain from; avoid or resist. Used with can or cannot: couldn't help laughing.
7) To wait on, as in a store or restaurant.
8) Definitions from the American Heritage dictionary online.
5. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: We raise our Ebenezer when . . .
I. We have faith in God in the face of seemingly impossible tasks.
1. Israel faced a seemingly impossible task in the face of the Philistine army.
1) Samuel offered a sacrifice and prayed.
2) Israel prevailed.
3) They raised an Ebenezer.
2. Guns of Ticonderoga
1) During the siege of Boston, Washington needed artillery.
2) Henry Knox volunteered to go, during the winter of 1775-1776, to get the guns of Ticonderoga.
3) He brought back 60 tons of heavy artillery from the fort on sledges.
4) This forced the British to withdraw from Boston.
5) He raised an Ebenezer.
3. What kind of seemingly impossible tasks do we face today?
1) Difficult boss in a job.
2) Difficulties in marriage.
3) Government decisions not made according to righteousness.
4) Taking the gospel to the world.
5) What do we say when we encounter these things?
a. Do we give up?
b. Or do we raise an Ebenezer?
4. There is nothing that we can't do if we set our mind to it and have faith in God.
1) The heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11.
2) Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things...."
II. We acknowledge the Lord's Help in Prayer.
1. David is such a great example of acknowledging the help of God in prayer.
1) Psalm 12:1 Help, Jehovah; For the godly man ceaseth; For the faithful fail from among the children of men.
2) Psalm 20:2 Send thee help from the sanctuary, And strengthen thee out of Zion;
3) Psalm 27:9 Hide not thy face from me; Put not thy servant away in anger: Thou hast been my help; Cast me not off, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
4) Psalm 33:20 Our soul hath waited for Jehovah: He is our help and our shield.
5) Psalm 38:22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation.
6) Psalm 40:13 Be pleased, O Jehovah, to deliver me: Make haste to help me, O Jehovah.
7) Psalm 40:17 But I am poor and needy; Yet the Lord thinketh upon me: Thou art my help and my deliverer; Make no tarrying, O my God.
8) Psalm 44:26 Rise up for our help, And redeem us for thy lovingkindness' sake.
9) Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
10) Psalm 60:11 Give us help against the adversary; For vain is the help of man.
11) Psalm 63:7 For thou hast been my help, And in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
12) Psalm 70:5 But I am poor and needy; Make haste unto me, O God: Thou art my help and my deliverer; O Jehovah, make no tarrying.
13) Psalm 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; And deliver us, and forgive our sins, for thy name's sake.
14) David raised his Ebenezer when he prayed to God.
2. Do we acknowledge God's help in prayer?
1) He provides for our daily sustenance (Acts 14:17).
2) He provides for our protection through government (Romans 13:4).
3) He provides for our spiritual welfare through His word (2 Peter 1:3).
4) All good things come from God (James 1:17).
5) Do we say thank you for our daily help?
6) As said David, "He is our help."
3. Let us raise our Ebenezer when we pray to God.
III. We remember God's help in our salvation.
1. This is not made any clearer than in the observance of the Lord's Supper.
1) Luke 22:19-20 we read, "And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. And the cup in like manner after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you."
2) Paul taught the Corinthians the same in 1 Corinthians 11:24-25.
2. What do we remember when we remember God's help to us?
1) We remember that we were lost in our sins without God's help (Isaiah 59:2).
2) We remember that without God's help we would have faced eternal death (Romans 6:23).
3) We remember that while we were yet enemies Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
4) We remember that it is through Christ's death and blood sacrifice that our sins were atoned (1 Peter 1:18-19).
5) We remember that it is through the God's power of the gospel that we are saved (Romans 1:16-17).
6) We remember that in that gospel is the righteousness of Christ, not our own righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
3. When we observe the Lord's Supper, we raise our Ebenezer.
1. Have you raised your Ebenezer? Have you acknowledged God as your help?
1) In life's daily struggles?
2) In prayer?
3) In salvation?