This weekend, at Crestview, Lord-willing, we’ll look at 1 Samuel 6-7. In 1 Samuel 7, we’ll be honing in how God comes to help His people. Here’s the connection that Tim Chester makes:
The hymn Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Robert Robinson (1735-1790) contains the lines:
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
We do not always sing these lines because most people do not know the origin of the meaning of “Ebenezer”. But this (1 Samuel 7:12) is where it comes from. For Christians our Ebenezer is the cross. At the cross, we see the seriousness of sin, the weight of glory, and God’s generous help to sinners. We raise up the cross and say: “Thus far the Lord has helped us”. And if he has helped us by giving his own Son, then surely he will bring us safely home to glory: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). When you feel overwhelmed by your problems, or when you feel God has abandoned you, or when you feel threatened by the circumstances of your life, look to the cross. The cross is our Ebenezer, the great declaration of God’s help. The way we truly take the glory of God seriously is by raising up the cross.