A Standing Moment of Remembrance


Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.” — 1 Samuel 7:12

Today, which is called Memorial Day, is a day set aside for remembering men and women whose lives were lost in service to this country. It's a day we reflect on and remember the sacrifices others have made for us. And remembering is important because as we do, we recall loved ones and lasting lessons that should never be canceled, dismissed, destroyed, rewritten, or forgotten. In these moments, we often resurrect monuments that hopefully outlast our short memory. They become a more permanent reminder of what slips our minds about history.

Coming back to our verse from today, there's a powerful story behind this moment. Samuel, one of Israel's judges, was calling for this day in Israel's history to become a day of remembrance. It was so important that he "stood up" a stone and named it Ebenezer, which meant "Till now the Lord has helped us." And the story is profound.

So Samuel, at this moment, has gathered the nation of Israel for a day of repentance. It was a national call for a return to God and to live all in for him. Throughout the day, he instructed them, prayed for them, and made commitments with them as they cried out in repentance to God. Meanwhile, their arch enemy, the Philistines, gathered forces to destroy them while they were defenseless. So while the nation of Israel is worshipping, the Philistines surround them. Completely surrounded, exposed, and unarmed, Samuel calls out to the people from the altar of God and commands them to proceed with worship. As the Philistines approach the border of the meeting, Samuel offers a sacrifice on the altar for the nation's sin — a spotless lamb whose life is given for their disobedience and sin. And listen to what happened next.

But the Lord thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel. And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them, as far as below Beth-car. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.” — 1 Samuel 7:10-12

Samuel was a leader who understood this one thing — that people are prone to forget. To forget all the great things God has done for them. And to help them remember, he made the people stand up a stone. A standing stone. To remind them of all the great things God had done and will do for those who call on him.

As you remember today, reflect on the life of a fallen loved one who gave their life in service for this country. But in addition, remember God who fights our battles. The one who gives us victory over sin when we are surrounded by impending death. A God who saves us at the trumpet sound with the sacrifice of his Son — the spotless lamb of God.

ASK THIS: Who are you reflecting on today? And what has God done for you that you need to remember?  (Share this in the comments below).

DO THIS: Take time for silence and prayer.

PRAY THIS: God, thank you for saving me from my sin and death. And for fighting my battles.

PLAY THIS: Surrounded.


short | practical | biblical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

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17 thoughts on “A Standing Moment of Remembrance

  1. Learn More says:

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  2. Eddie Ackerman says:

    while I don’t have a family member that died in a war, I do have a family member that served, but is no longer with us, my grandpa Jim died two years ago from cancer, so I will be remembering him and his service and his personality.

  3. Todd Hillukka says:

    I’m just starting my 19th year in the National Guards. My last year and I can retire. I have seen the hardships the military creates on lives especially that of Christians. Today I’m just blessed that men and women have laid there lives down for our freedom. Lord I pray that you would show this world the love it takes so we can live in peace with no more wars. Bless the men and women who fight so we can have freely worship you. Remind us of your glory even as families struggle today remembering their lost loved ones

  4. Chris says:

    I can just look around and be thankful for the home and family he has given me. My youngest graduates high school on Friday and we are celebrating with different events all week. This is a time to be thankful!

  5. David J says:

    All the men and women that gave their life for our freedom. Thank you God for saving me from my sin

  6. Cory B says:

    To our service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice as well as all the other service members who have fought, are fighting and will go on to fight for our freedom. Thank you! 🙏❤️

  7. Rex says:

    I need to reflect on the love, the perfect sacrificial love that God has for me. Thank you for this today that I needed it!

  8. Alex Coon says:

    God has groomed me into a man of greater discipline and convictions. He’s been patient through all my immaturity and mistakes and will certainly see me through the bitter end.

  9. Darin Palmer says:

    All of the military who gave the ultimate sacrifice for me and other Americans so we can continue to have our freedoms that we all take for granted!

  10. Lynn says:

    SFC Clinton Wisdom.
    SGT Don Allen Clary
    SGT Derrick Joseph Lutters
    SGT Jessie Davila
    Master SGT Bernard Deghand
    SSGT David R Berry
    Members of the of my unit who gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

  11. SHELDON Bullard says:

    Some women in my life who taught me about God, My mother, grandmother, and my spiritual mothers some who have gone on to be with the Lord, I reflect on their faithfulness to God.

  12. Walter says:

    Carried me through joblessness to a blessed life with a job that allows me to bless others. I can honestly say, to the person who is downtrodden, broke and out if a job, I know how you feel. God will always be there for you!

  13. Dave Benson says:

    My father who served in the Navy.
    And remembering our Lord and the sacrifice He made for me!
    “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done”
    1 Chronicles 16:11-12

  14. Jack Dellinger says:

    Today I reflect on the men and women who have given their life for me to live in a free country. A country where I am free to chose and practice my religion; free to live where I want to live; free to go to school and obtain the education I want; free to work at a job of my choosing; free to express my opinions; free to elect who leads me. Never let me think this came free or that I am in some way entitled to these freedoms.
    Today I also remember those, the apostles and those that followed, that gave their life so I might enjoy the freedom that Christ’s redemption of my sin brings. This was not free at all, but was purchased first shedding of Christ’s blood, then the message propagated to future generations by the shedding of other blood. I remember the Church Fathers and Mothers that have made it possible for me to enjoy that freedom today.