Summary: The Lord Ebenezer is such a beautiful name to call. There is a spiritual energy that infuses us, there is a quickening of our spirit and our faith, there is a joy that replaces sadness, weariness and discouragement, when we remember how far the Lord has helped us.
When a baby is born, the parents try to pick the perfect name for their child. In some cases and places, the grandparents as well as another close family member or family friend, gives the baby a name. That is how the baby gets his or her name. What about God? How does God come about His own names? God has so many names. If we were to take time to look at all the names of God, we could spend months just trying to understand and get to know all the names of God.
There are two ways by which God comes about His names:
I. Names God gave Himself or names God uses to introduce Himself – For example, when God met Moses at the burning bush, God introduced Himself to Moses as I am Who I Am (Exodus 3:14). Other names God has given Himself are The Lord (Exodus 6:8), The Lord, Your Saviour, Your Redeemer, The Mighty One of Jacob (Isaiah 44:20), the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Matthew 22:32), I am the Lord Your God or I am Yaweh, Your Elohim (Deuteronomy 5:6). When Jesus was here on earth, He used several names to introduce Himself. Names like the Bread of Life (John 6:35), the Light of the World (John 8:12), the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6), the Door (John 10:9), the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25), the Good Shepherd (John 10:11).
II. Names given to God by People – these are names that came about from people’s personal relationship, experience and encounter with God. They are names people gave God when He did something special for them or when He revealed an aspect of His character and nature to them. For example, in Genesis 16:13, Hagar called God the God Who Sees Me. Nobody told her that was God’s name, it was the best way she could describe God after she ran away to the wilderness and God located her there and spoke comforting words to her when she was in distress (Genesis 16:5-13). Other names people have given God include Jehovah Jireh which Abraham called God when God provided a ram for the sacrifice instead of Abraham having to sacrifice his son, Isaac (Genesis 20:14). Jehovah Shammah is a name given by Prophet Ezekiel after receiving visions of the temple of God and having a personal encounter with God’s awesome glory and presence (Ezekiel 48:37). The name Ebenezer which we want to look at today is a name given to God by Prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 7:12). Interestingly, these particular names for God are not limited to the Bible. In Matthew 16:15, Jesus asked His disciples, ‘Who do you say I am?’ He wanted them to tell Him something they could say about Him based on their own personal relationship with Him. Even today, based on our own personal relationship, experience and encounters with Jesus, we should be able to find names that don’t contradict the truths of scripture to express who God is to us. I pray that every one of us will have unique encounters with our ever Living God that will lead to our coming up with a special name we use for God when we worship Him or pray to Him.
Until we pass through certain situations in life, we can’t fully understand and appreciate some of the names of God. It takes someone who has spent nights on a hospital bed, someone who has spent so much money on medications and medical treatments to understand God as the Great Physician, as Jehovah Rapha. For every situation we face in life, there is a name of God to help us through that situation and bring us out of it. Today God wants to reach out to and help those facing situations that need the Lord, Ebenezer to attend to.
One thing we discover from 1 Samuel 7:1-15 our theme scripture for the name the Lord, our Ebenezer is that there are certain steps, decisions and choices we make in life that offends and threatens the devil and the kingdom of darkness. No one heard of the Prince of Persia until Daniel prayed some specific prayers (Daniel 10:1-13). 1 Samuel 7:4-7, tells us of certain things the Israelites did that angered and threatened the Philistines. The message version of 1 Samuel 7:7 says ‘When the Philistines heard that Israel was meeting at Mizpah, the Philistine leaders went on the offensive.’ What actions did the Israelites take that made their enemies get offensive?
I. They put away the strange gods in their lives (1 Samuel 7:4). When we put away every strange god; everything that takes the place of God in our lives whether it’s our job, our business, television programs or even a problem we are going through, the devil is angry because He doesn’t want us to give God our exclusive devotion and attention. Satan enjoys it when other things and people take the place of God in our lives. Satan loves to see us having more than one master (Matthew 6:24). Today, I pray we will put away all strange gods in our lives so the God can take His rightful place in our lives and Ebenezer can arise to help us.