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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1091. Ebenezer - Rock of help (3/7/24)

Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional where we are in our Summer Inspiration series. Today, we reflect on what it means for God to be our rock of help. 

To watch this devotional, follow the link below:

‘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)

After a great victory over their enemies, Samuel, their leader, set up a stone of remembrance. He called the stone ‘Ebenezer’, which means ‘rock of help’. In doing so, he wanted to both honour God, and do all that he could to help the people to remember where their help came from. The people were prone to bouts of devotion followed by periods of idolatry. Earlier in the chapter we read:

‘Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord.  So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.’ (1 Samuel 7:1-4) 

Following this period of repentance, the Lord led them in the victory that led to Samuel setting up this stone that they named Ebenezer.


However, the people have not learned their lesson. Quickly, they forget that God is their help and they turn to the help of men:

‘They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have…We want a king over us.  Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”’ (1 Samuel 8:5, 19-20)

Is our confidence for salvation and for our lives in Jesus, our ‘rock of help’? Are we prone to forgetting that our salvation - our justification - is in the victory of Jesus on the cross? Are we prone to forgetting to seek God for the needs in our lives? Are we forgetful of the way that God helps us? May each of us, and our churches, set up our ‘Ebenezer’ in our worship, the way we pray, the way we give thanks. Added to this, is there anyone who needs your encouragement to remember that God is their immovable rock of help? 


Community group notes and study

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News. 

2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? 

3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.

4. Study and pray together

Our message on Sunday was entitled, Don’t Settle for Second Best; the theme, from Exodus, was on how we are to prize the presence of God and not settle for second best in our lives. 

Please read 1 Samuel 13:14 and discuss: 

  • What would you say is the main message of this text and account of Saul and David that surrounds it?

  • Did God speak to you about anything specifically from Sunday’s message?

  • How was David’s heart different from Saul’s?

  • How does this text lead us to Christ and to deeper worship and trust in Him? 

  • How can we develop and protect our heart so as to be more like Christ (and David)? 

  • SIV - How will a heart that is after God’s own heart lead us into mission? 

  • SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  • SIV - Spend some time together talking and praying about who and how you are seeking to bring your community to Jesus. 

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