Christian hymns draw people closer to the Lord and deepen their relationship with him. They also help Christians encourage other saints. But sometimes we find odd or archaic words in our hymns that could even be distracting to the worshiper. We sing them anyway because they just “sound” right.
How about the great song, O, Thou Fount of Every Blessing?”
“Here I raise my Ebenezer:
hither by Thy help I come…
So what exactly is an “Ebenezer” and what’s it doing in our songs? Bob Prichard, a fine preacher of the gospel and an associate from Polishing the Pulpit says it well:
As a reminder of the great victory God gave to Israel, Samuel took a great stone and raised it as a memorial “between Mizpeh and Shen.” As he raised it he “called the name of it Ebenezer [or stone of help], saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12). Whenever the Israelites looked at the stone, they would remember how God had helped them. Unfortunately, the exact site of the stone is unknown today.
Thanks Bob for the explanation. Now let us sing with joy and understanding and worship in both spirit and in truth.