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I Samuel 7:12

We should retain memories related to the Lord’s goodness and help to our families. These objects then serve to remind us and teach our children, they become family eben-ezers. The word “Eben-ezer” is first used in I Samuel 4:1 and refers to a city 25 miles northwest of Jerusalem and 10 mile east of the seacoast. In the context of the Philistine War raging at this time, this city was a logical battle site.

But at Eben-ezer a tragedy occurred regarding the Ark of the Covenant. “And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Eben-ezer unto Ashdod” (5:1-2). God was gracious and allowed the Ark to return (7:1-2) after punishing the Philistines through the Ark (cf. 5-6). Samuel then took the “stone” and set it near Mizpeh 6 miles north of Jerusalem. This large rock became a “war memorial” in a special sense—a reminder of Jehovah’s power in battle.

Does your family need physical reminders pointing to times when “the LORD hath helped us”? Are you searching for ways to pass on to your children or those in your sphere of influence a stability which comes from confidence in God’s providential care? We would be wise to set up, as Samuel did, family Eben-ezers to remind us of God’s race, power, and love in the battles of life. If nothing else, let the words of the favorite old hymn be such a reminder each time we sing it.

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