Personal Ebenezer Stones

In Joshua 4:20, the scriptures tell us that Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. As a great leader, Joshua was creating a powerful memory for the children of Israel. He says, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’”

There are two other occasions when a Godly leader set up such a memorial. Jacob does it in Gen. 28:10-22 after he has an amazing encounter with Yahweh, and he doesn’t want to forget it’s significance. And Samuel sets up such a memorial in I Sam. 7:7-12.

Samuel set up a stone between Mizpah and Shen to signify God’s great grace in subduing the Philistines and saving the Israelites. He named the stone, Ebenezer, saying “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

In all three situations, the Godly leader was creating a reminder. Those memorials were not an altar to worship; they were there to remind the children of God why they worship.

And this week, I am wondering if that same spiritual principle might need to be applied in our lives. God is certainly still at work with His kids. He is leading us through difficult circumstances. He is making His presence known.

But we have short attention spans and easily get distracted. In our next trial or battle, we might forget exactly how the Lord led us through the last one. We might be inclined to be fearful and anxious.

So, maybe we ought to be creating some memorials of our own. Those memorials will help us to remember His grace and kindness.

Just a thought but making a small rock garden out in our back yard or patio might be a good idea. And let’s not use just any old rock, but as a family, let’s choose one that reminds us of God’s specific faithfulness. We can even write on them. Let’s place them there, one by one, as the blessings come.

These personal Ebenezer Stones will remind us and our children, that thus far, God has indeed helped us. As we lay each stone in place, we are declaring that His faithfulness extends to all generations.

Our rock garden will be a tangible reminder of a loving, heavenly Father.

(And we don’t have to water it.)

Sherry Worel
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.
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