Got a Story? We want to hear it.
There is an obscure reference to a stone that ends up with a name in the story of the High Priest Samuel. If one read right through the incident, nothing would seem like it was missed. But the reference is important. The kingless Israelites under the spiritual wisdom of Samuel routs the Philistine army at Mizpah. This is a big deal. The fledgling nation really does want to remember everything Yahweh is doing for them. Or at least the leadership knows this and understands the importance of continual remembrance.
1 Samuel 7:12 “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far has the LORD helped us.’”
Many years ago, we met a wonderful family with values and beliefs similar to ours. In their home was an interesting chest. The chest contained trinkets, hand draw pictures, photographs, badges, and other items that looked more like odds and ends than anything of significance.
This family had a younger daughter who was about 8 years old when we met. Just a short time before we saw the chest we heard a story about it. The daughter said to her father, “Daddy, tell me a Bible story out of the box.” Hmm, really?
What we didn’t know was the true nature of the box. It was called an Ebenezer Box. It was filled with items that reminded their family of how Father had helped them through the years. Each trinket, picture, photograph was a memory of how Father had done something of significance in their lives. A picture of a crashed car that held the three oldest children who should have experienced more tragedy, but walked away unscathed. Other items reflected what they believed was viable and empirical evidences of how the Lord had helped them through the years. The box was nearly full of wonderful stories of God’s faithfulness in their lives.
Eben is Hebrew for ‘stone.’ Ezer is Hebrew for ‘helper.’ Ezer is the word Father uses when talking to Adam about finding him a helper. So the name of the stone set up by Samuel is to be a reminder or a memorial of how Father is a constant helper in the lives of Israel. For this family the box was a collection of stories, Bible stories if you will, that showed how Father had helped them. To them the stories and testimonies in the box carried just as much weight and authority the Bible does. Both in concert provide a tangible reminder of the faithfulness of God.
CRBC now has an Ebenezer Box. We don’t ever want to forget some of the wonderful things Father has done in the lives of those we are in community with. As we collect trinkets and mementoes of Father’s work in our lives, those things will be a constant testimony of what He has done and that He will continue to do so in the future.