Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer… – 1 Samuel 7:12
Dear friends, as we pile that stone thinking how God has helped us, let us shed tears of sorrow to think how ungrateful we have been. On earth penitence and praise must always sing together. Just as in some of our tunes there are two or three parts, we shall always need repentance to take the bass notes while we are here, while faith in praise can mount up to the very highest notes of the divine gamut of gratitude. Yes, with our joy for pardoned guilt we mourn that we pierced the Lord, and with our joy for strengthened graces and ripening experience, we must mourn over ingratitude and unbelief. Hitherto the Lord hath helped thee, and yet thou didst once say, “My God has forgotten me.” Hitherto the Lord hath helped thee, and yet thou didst murmur and complain against Him. Hitherto the Lord hath helped thee, and yet thou didst once deny Him like Peter. Hitherto the Lord hath helped thee, and yet thine eye hath gone astray after vanity, and thy hand hath touched sin, and thy heart hath played the wanton. Let us repent, my brethren, for it is through our tears, that we shall best perceive the beauty of these grateful words, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”
You must remember, too, that Ebenezer was the place of lamentation after the Lord. They came together to pray God to return to them. We shall surely see God when we long after Him. If you personally have lost the light of His face, pray-
“Return, O holy Dove! return,
Sweet messenger of rest!
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn,
And drove Thee from my breast.”
And if it be the entire Church, and in any measure our love has grown cold, and the converting and sanctifying Spirit has departed, let us pray also the same prayer.
“Savior, visit Thy plantation;
Grant us, Lord, a gracious rain!
All will come to desolation,
Unless Thou return again;
Lord, revive us,
All our help must come from Thee!”
The place of revival should be the place of gracious thankfulness. ~ C.H. Spurgeon