UV 1612/10000 To Listen, Watch and Recount
Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us
I Samuel 7 v 12
The elements in this uni-verse are Samuel, stone, Mizpeh, Ebenezer. Samuel implies
“One who hears God and is heard of by God.” In our personal relationship with the Creator, we need to be sensitive and disciplined to listen to the Lord and to have our prayers heard by the Lord. Samuel was a leader, king anointer, adviser, prophet and judge. Each of us who listen to the Lord are likewise a leader, both anointed and anointer, adviser, influencer, prophet and judge in the kingdom of God. The word “Mizpeh” is a place in Gilead in Israel and means a “ watchtower.” We should not only listen with our ears but keep our eyes open to watch out for signs of the Lord’s doing in this world. Ebenezer implies that God does not just listen to our prayers and cries but He helps us actively and directly. He also helps us through circumstances and people. The stone that Samuel set up at Mizpeh like the stone that Jacob and Laban set up in the same area is a memorial or a reminder to generations hence of the marvellous help the Lord gave to Israel in subduing the Philistines or their enemies. The stone is also an altar – a place of worship. Samuel acknowledged and worshipped God for the help Israel received.
We too can expect the help of the Lord in our daily struggles and challenges. But having been heard of the Lord and received His help, we should not forget but remember to be thankful and worship the Lord. We need to recall as often as possible the wonderful ways in which He has saved, provided, fended for, protected and delivered us. We need to mount a spiritual watchtower or Mizpeh every day to scan the horizon of our lives for any sign from the Lord. Every help we have received from the Lord is to be remembered and celebrated even as Israel commemorated every major event and intervention by the Lord in their history by one or other Jewish festival.
We need to encourage ourselves by recounting the times and details of how the Lord has helped us this far. Our faith will be strengthened as we do this exercise several times a day or as frequently as possible. Since the all powerful, all knowing and ever present God is helping us, no foe or opposition can be greater and nothing is impossible for us. Another way to recount the help of the Lord to various people through the ages is by biting into the Word. The name “ Shen” means tooth. We need to not only listen, watch and remember but also bite into the Word in order to be greatly strengthened from within.
Prateep V Philip