The Lord has always led His forgetful people to repentance and victory. We are called today to remember His faithfulness.
Throughout the Old Testament, we see the people of Israel repeatedly wander from God. Though they are God's chosen people, they forget all He has done for them. As a result, their affections turn to their idol of choice.
Thus far the Lord has helped us.
In 1 Samuel 4, the people of Israel are once again far from God—worshiping idols and suffering defeat by the Philistines. But God, in His faithfulness, raises up a godly leader to call them to return to their first love.
Samuel leads the people in corporate repentance, and the Lord delivers them from the hands of their enemies and makes them victorious (see 1 Samuel 7:2-12). Because of all God had done to save them, Samuel sets up an Ebenezer—a visible landmark that would forever remind Israel of the intervening power of God.
This stone was meant to remind all who looked upon it, "Thus far the Lord has helped us" (v. 12)—just as Israel's story, written and preserved in Scripture, teaches and encourages us today (see Romans 15:4). Like the Israelites, we too must remember: Thus far the Lord has helped us. Thus far He has been faithful. Therefore, we must look to Him—not to our idol of choice—in our present trouble.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your steadfast love and faithfulness. Help me to remember and rejoice in the ways You have worked in my life for my good. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"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).