12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah.[a] He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!” — 1 Samuel 7:12 NLT
When the Philistines were attacking Israel, they were defeating them in every battle. The people called for Samuel and asked him to sacrifice to the Lord and pray for their deliverance. Samuel told the leaders to gather all the people and meet him at Mizpah. The people met Samuel there where they fasted all day and confessed their sins before God. Just as Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines arrived to attack Israel. Because of their fasting and praying, God relented and caused the Philistines to be so completely confused that the Israelites were able to defeat them and chase them away. To show their appreciation for the deliverance and the answer to their prayers, Samuel raised up a stone in that location and called it Ebenezer which means “a stone of help”. Each evening, we should look back over our lives and recognize those areas where God has given us victory over satan and his dominions. Then, we should take the time to symbolically “raise our Ebenezer” by taking time to praise God and thank Him for his great mercies. We should bow our heads and our knees in honor of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords because it is only by His help that we have come this far and only by His help will we make it home to spend eternity with Him. There is victory and joy in Jesus and there is failure and defeat without Him. Give Him the glory that He so richly deserves for all of our victories. Sing praises to His Name and marinate yourself in His goodness.