November 1996 New Horizons

A Stone of Help: 1996 Thank Offering



A Stone of Help

Download PDFDownload ePubArchive

A Stone of Help

"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far has the Lord helped us' " (1 Sam. 7:12). This was not the only Ebenezer. There was another one—not a stone, but a town of the same name, the place where the famous "let's use God" event transpired. You probably know the story: Godliness was at a low ebb in Israel, as illustrated by Hophni and Phinehas. These two sons of Eli, who were priests of the Lord, were wicked men. They forcefully appropriated for themselves sacrificial meat that was supposed to be offered to the Lord, thus "treating the Lord's offering with contempt" (1 Sam. 2:17). They even slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tabernacle (vs. 22). Finally, they refused to heed their father's rebuke (vs. 25). But the rot had spread beyond the tabernacle. After Israel suffered a defeat at the hands of the Philistines at Ebenezer (losing four thousand on the battlefield), her leaders concocted the bright idea of ... Read more