Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ebeneezer

When you read the title of this post the first thing that probably comes to mind is Ebeneezer Scrooge, the mean old miser from Dicken's "A Christmas Carol". Scrooge's name is always used in a negative light about a person that is hardened, unloving and unconcerned about the misery of others.

I think there is a biblical purpose behind Dicken's using the name Ebeneezer. The name comes from 1 Samuel 7:12 Samuel took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer—"the stone of help"—for he said, "Up to this point the Lord has helped us!" that was raised after the Lord defeated the Philistine army at Mispah.

What is the connection between the biblical account about the stone of Ebeneezer and Dicken's Scrooge? In the end, we forget this, Scrooge turned out to be a humble, loving and charitable man. It took the 'ghosts' to remind him of the past, his Ebeneezer stones, the present, and what the future might hold if he did not remember his 'Ebeneezer'.

Wikipedia details the plot of the story and ends with this:

Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning with joy and love in his heart, then spends the day with his nephew's family after anonymously sending a prize turkey to the Cratchit home for Christmas dinner. Scrooge has become a different man overnight and now treats his fellow men with kindness, generosity and compassion, gaining a reputation as a man who embodies the spirit of Christmas. The story closes with the narrator confirming the validity, completeness, and permanence of Scrooge's transformation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Christmas_Carol

God reminds us of the past to help us to become what we are to be. There are several points that can be taken from this.
  • God is not finished with us until He has fully developed Himself in us.
  • God sees a person for what he can become, not necessarily what he is at present
I pray that we might have the same perspective.

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