Monday, September 22, 2008

Not Scrooge

The hardest thing about the hymn verse below is the word “Ebenezer”. That word comes from I Samuel 7:12. In that chapter, the people of Israel came together and repented, and while they were together — well, here, read it for yourself:

As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the Lord thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines, and threw them into confusion, and they were routed before Israel. And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them, as far as below Beth-car.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, for he said, “Till now, the Lord has helped us.”

So “Ebenezer” means “stone of help” and it refers to a particular memorial set up to help the people remember that the Lord has helped them, and he is the source of all their help. (For a closely related reference, see Psalm 121.)

Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by thy help I've come,
And I hope by Thy good pleasure safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger wand'ring from the fold of God.
He to rescue me from danger interposed his precious blood.

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