Ebenezer. In the original Hebrew, eben haezer means stone of help or commemorative stone. For us, Ebenezer is not necessarily a literal stone, but an object that helps us remember and acknowledge God’s help in our lives.
Samuel’s rock and other rocks used for the same purpose by Old Testament characters, were a reminder that could be seen.
When Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan into the promised land, God stopped the water flow so they could walk across the river bed. From that river bed, they collected 12 stones. They carried them out and placed them where they stopped for the day.
Later, when God’s people walked by the stones, they remembered. When their children asked what the big deal was about some rocks, they could use it as a teaching opportunity, a remembrance, maybe a time of praise and worship. Sometimes my own small handmade Ebenezers make me say ‘Hallelujah!”, I can just imagine the emotions that the 12 stones at Gilgal might have brought out in the people that lived the experience.
Maybe you have sung this song. Growing up in a small Baptist church, it was a staple. I always thought Ebenezer (mentioned in the second verse) was a guy. It never made much sense to me.