Of Ebenezers and Easter

rockpile

EBENEZER

Little Rock Pile:

A stack of Hallelujahs

To commemorate

Divine Deliverance

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.

 

Photo by Melinda Gray

Photo by Melinda Gray

 

And that is what makes it indeed, a hard-won but Happy Easter.

 

kpeterson March 2013                                     * BibleGateway.com

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3 Responses to Of Ebenezers and Easter

  1. Mindy says:

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today and leaving a comment. It was so inspiring to find your writing as I traveled back here to “meet” you. What a blessing you’ve been to my heart. I collect Ebenezer rocks, I’ve lost a child, I have older children who have left home. It seems many things you write speak to my soul. Thank you for ministering to me today with gracious words about a loving Savior and the hope we have in Him.

  2. As always, Kerry, you’ve put truth into the most moving and inspiring words. Your heart has listened to the Spirit and in so doing, your poetry has a poignancy and perfection that comes only from Him.

    Isn’t it painfully true that each generation is a forgetful generation? I forget the mighty ways He has acted in my life and in the lives of those I love. Once it is done it is gone it seems. I started collecting “Ebenezers” when my kids were young. When something happened that we knew was God stepping in and acting in our lives, we put the date, and a brief explanation on a stone. We have a little bowl with our family collection of stone reminders that God does truly intervene in our lives. We haven’t gone over them in a long time. Perhaps your beautiful reminder that Easter is the best time to “not forget” so to speak, should inspire me to get out my Ebenezers and do some hallelujahs of my own!! Thank you, again. Every time you write I am blessed.

    • To Him be all praise and glory. He is so good to let us share the good, the hard, and the mysterious in community. Your words encourage me, as does your family’s tradition of collecting Ebenezers. That is wonderful.

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