1 Samuel 7
Perhaps the most meaningful of all our national monuments stands in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty. No other national monument holds the significance of the grand lady of liberty, who has welcomed millions to our shores over the past century. My father shares his memory of returning from the battlefields of Europe after World War II. His ship was entering New York Harbor with the Statue of Liberty well in sight when a small tugboat came out to meet them. On the deck of the little boat was a band and a group of choristers singing, “Welcome Home, Boys, Welcome Home.” My father says that everyone of those hardened combat veterans was standing on deck looking at Lady Liberty with tears in their eyes as they realized they had survived the war and it was over.
As important and meaningful as these national monuments are, none of them speaks to the needs addressed by Israel’s Ebenezer monument. The Ebenezer stood in Samuel’s day as a reminder of what God had done for the nation of Israel. As a matter of fact, the name itself emphasized that their victory was solely of God. On that day when he thundered from heaven, they were the undeserving beneficiaries of his saving work. It was not a monument to an abstract concept such as “liberty” or “justice,” nor was it a memorial to individuals who had contributed much or sacrificed most. This was a reminder that repentance and faith had been effective and that God had been faithful to his word; God had acted on their behalf.