Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (1 Samuel 7, 12).
Israel led by Samuel, after the great victory over their enemy built the stone of remembrance to acknowledge God’s help in the battle. The Ebenezer memorial was an act of gratitude and thankfulness from a nation that received forgiveness of God but more than that, freedom from the enemy’s oppression. This was to celebrate and remind everybody that it wasn’t by their own strength or might but through divine help.
Throughout the bible we see how God wants His people to remember all that He does for them. With Noah and every living creature, God Himself set a rainbow in the sky to remember His covenant with the earth. To Moses and the children of Israel, the Lord commanded them not to forget the day that He took them out of Egypt (Exodus 12; Exodus 13, 3 “Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place”). And Jesus asked us to do the same by breaking bread in remembrance of Him (Luke 22, 19). It is an act of thankfulness.
We remember what the Lord has done for us and begin to thank Him, we are acknowledging that without Him we wouldn’t have got to where we are. It is also an act of humility to remind us from where the Lord has picked us or met us and that we are grateful for the work of Jesus on the cross.
Anytime we thank God, we recognise that He is all to us and we enthroned Him in our lives as the one we owe it to. And when we begin to exalt Him like this, He grant us audience into His presence: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Psalm 100, 4).
Thanksgiving is the key into His gates and praise will take us into His courts and if we want to go beyond His courts and get to His presence before His footstool or throne, worship Him (“Exalt the Lord our God, And worship at His footstool, He is holy” Psalm 99, 5).
We Thank God for what He has done for us, we Praise Him for His creation and wonders and we Worship Him for who He is.
Father I thank you for your provision for us and I praise you for your wonderful deeds and redeeming grace; I worship you for you are the only true God Elohim, Yahweh, El Shaddai, the Saviour of my life, the Almighty God, the loving Father, the Merciful one.
Worship brings us into the temple and the presence of God. It is a time when we surrender our whole being before Him and in return, He responds.
For us to have divine help this year, let us go beyond just asking, seeking and knocking. Let us fill our hearts with thanksgiving, praise and worship.