The One Who Helps (1 Samuel 7:12) - Radical

The One Who Helps (1 Samuel 7:12)

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Til now the Lord has helped us.'”
-1 Samuel 7:12

What a great picture that became the basis for a line in one of the most famous hymns in the church, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” In the second verse of that hymn, the song says “Here I raise my Ebenezer.” And what does that mean? Well, the picture here in 1 Samuel 7:12 is a stone that was set up as a marker to remember how God helped His people in 1 Samuel 7.

So in the hymn, the lyrics say, “Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by Thy help I’ve come. And I hope by Thy good pleasure safely to arrive at home.” And the truth that 1 Samuel 7 is teaching that’s echoed in that hymn is the encouragement I want to give you today and want to lead us to pray according to today. The Lord God, think about even what we were praying in the last podcast episode based on 1 Samuel 5, the one who is God over all gods, Lord over all the nations, the Lord God is your helper.

1 Samuel 7:12 Reminds Us God is Our Helper

Would you just let that soak in in your life right now? The Lord God is your helper. He is there with you right now, amidst whenever you’re walking through in your life to help you. He’s there to give you everything you need as you walk with Him. He’s there to give you everything you need as you worship and trust in Him so that you can look back at this day and the next day and the next day amidst whatever you’re walking through, and you can raise an Ebenezer, a stone in a sense, in that place at that time and say, “The Lord helped me.” And He will help us. He promises to help us all the way home, all the way until the day when we see His face.

So, God, we praise you based on 1 Samuel 7:12, for being our helper. What a thought, O God. I’m just overwhelmed even right now as I say this, as I pray this, that you’re my helper. My helper, you the God of the universe. You’re the one with all authority in all the world as sovereign ruler of all. The one who spoke and the world came into being. God, you are my helper today, And you are the helper for all who trust in you today. God, may I, may every single person listening right now feel this, be overwhelmed by this. Amidst whatever they’re walking through, may they know you’re their helper.

1 Samuel 7:12 Leads Us to Confess Our Need for God

And God, I pray that you would help them, help me amidst all kinds of things we are walking through. We need your help. We confess right now in prayer, we need your help and we praise you for your promise to help us. So grant, we pray according to your promise to help us, all the strength and wisdom and joy and peace and comfort. All the help we need in this world, amidst whatever is going on in our lives, in such a way, O God, we can look back and remember how you helped us.

And we do pray in light of that Psalm, in light of that hymn based on 1 Samuel 7, that you would help us all the way home. Help us to walk faithfully and humbly with you all the way home. Lord, until we see your face, and we look back and we say in your presence, “Thank you for helping me.” In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

View the 2021 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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