Family Stone of Remembrance

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Making an Ebenezer Pumpkin

“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). Have you heard the name Ebenezer before? Perhaps you have heard it from the famous Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. But do you know what Ebenezer means or that the name Ebenezer has a spiritual significance? The name Ebenezer means “stone of help” and can be found in the book of 1 Samuel chapter seven. In this chapter, the Bible records a specific time that the Philistine army had planned to attack God’s chosen people, Israel. When the children of Israel heard about the Philistines plan, they were afraid. The Bible says that they went to the prophet Samuel and said, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines” (1 Samuel 7:8). So Samuel made an offering to the Lord and cried out to Him for deliverance. The Lord answered Samuel’s prayer, and “the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel” (1 Samuel 7:10). In response, Samuel set up a stone “…between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12). It was not an uncommon practice for Israel to set up stones to remember God’s faithfulness to them or to remind them of His powerful acts. Jacob set up a stone pillar in Bethel after the Lord had made a covenant with him in a dream. Moses set up stone pillars on Mt. Sinai after he received the Ten Commandments from God. Joshua also set up stones as a witness after he said “…As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). This fall season, why not set up your own Ebenezer stone as a family…using a pumpkin! Every day leading up to Thanksgiving, have each person in the family take turns writing what they are thankful for on their pumpkin. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). May the Lord bless you as you create your family’s Ebenezer pumpkin.  

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