Little Rock Pile:
A stack of Hallelujahs
Along the Way.
Refresh our memories
Little Stones of Hope.
Fuel our fidelity
And shore up our faith
In The One who is Mighty to Save.
Since learning about the Ebenezer’s role in Israel’s faith-history, I have collected rocks. As you may know, Ebenezers, or “Stones of Hope”, were rock piles that the Israelites built in order to commemorate a time God delivered them in dramatic fashion. What a wonderful visual image to employ for a people (like me) who had short memories and often times fearful constitutions. Wouldn’t you like to live in a landscape strewn with rocky monuments to God’s faithfulness? Yes, yes I would.
Ebenezers are best referenced in 1 Samuel when God intervenes to deliver Israel from the Philistines:
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12*
What a wonderful way to remember and proclaim His faithfulness.
Now fast forward and check out this familiar passage from the gospel of Luke. I wonder if perhaps the crowd was passing an ancient Ebenezer while the Pharisees hassled Jesus yet again.
36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.
38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”[c]
39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”
40 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” Luke 19*
There! “Stones along the road”! Perhaps as Jesus responded succinctly and powerfully to these stubborn, small-minded religious leaders, he directed their attention to an ancient Ebenezer that everyone knew memorialized a cherished memory of I Am stepping in to save His nation yet again. It would make sense in this context- for the message of Ebenezers is exactly one of praise and thanksgiving to God for His miraculous provision and protection.
And nothing tops the miraculous provision and protection afforded by God’s One and Only Son. Even the rocks testify to this.
May we gather rocks along the way to build our own Ebenezers that remind ourselves and declare to any who would hear: He is Mysterious, but He is Faithful, and worthy of following, for He has made a Way.
And that is what makes it indeed, a hard-won but Happy Easter.
kpeterson March 2013 * BibleGateway.com