On the way from Mizpeh to Shen, the prophet Samuel set up a stone memorial and called the place Ebenezer, meaning stone of help (1 Sam 7:12). The help of God came to the Israelites in the midst of a battle with the Philistines. During the battle, God thundered from heaven, confusing the Philistines. In their confusion, the Israelites pursued them to Beth-car where they defeated the Philistines.
To the Christian, God continues to be a great help. Through the power of God, men can overcome sins and be justified by his help (Acts 13:39). Thus, God’s first great help is that of justification to the sinner.
God’s second great help is that of sanctification. Though salvation from sins is initially granted at baptism, Christians still sin (1 John 1:8). Saints need the continual cleansing of sins supplied by God through sanctification. God’s grace applies the blood of Christ to the lives of Christians as they (1 John 1:7-10). This gift is another great help to us.
Another great help is the church. Jesus purchased the church with is His own blood (Acts 20:28). God was willing to pay this high price for the church because the church is His saving vessel. With Jesus at the helm, the church is the totality of the saved sailing to salvation (Heb 2:1-4) when it will be returned to God on the Day of Judgment (1 Cor 15:24). All of those in Christ’s church will be saved, so the church is a great help for the Christian.
There are many great helps within the church—edification, evangelism, direction, leadership, and unity. Another great help in the church is fellowship. Fellowship is the close intimate interaction and sharing of the common love of God that exists between Christians. It fulfills the emotional need of close friendship. Fellowship is the bond that draws saints closer and keeps them together.
Another great stone of help in the church is brotherhood. Humans have a need for brotherhood, a social interaction with others. As a result, many groups, clubs, orders, and organizations have been established to help fulfill man’s need for social brotherhood. However, none of the fraternal organizations offer the true and eternal brotherhood offered in the church. The Christian brotherhood is universal, so that no matter where a saint goes, he will never be far from family.
This point was once emphasized to me when my car broke down in a town many miles from home. I contacted a member of the church in that community and quickly receive aid. This was a great help, knowing my brothers and sisters—whom I had never met—were willing to assist me in my hour of need. It is an object lesson for Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” This is another great help from the Father.
God is concerned about his children. He constantly provides help for those who seek His favor. Whether his providence comes from his salvation, sanctification, church, fellowship, brotherhood, or any other means he deems worthy and necessary, we can take heart in the fact that he cares enough to send his very best.
Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I’ve come.