“It is the duty of the Lord’s people to keep the memorial of the experience which they have of the Lord’s helping them.” So says the old Scottish preacher Thomas Boston.
He bases this upon 1 Samuel 7, where Israel raised a monument of thankfulness for God’s great and glorious deliverance of them, and called it Ebenezer, “Stone of Help,” saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
The stone, says Boston, “is a grateful acknowledgment of the Lord’s help for the time past, and to raise their confidence in him for the time to come.” You can read this deeply edifying sermon here, or if you’re short of time, have a look at Boston’s outline below.
But whether you read or not, let’s use this day to raise millions of memorials to the Lord’s help in 2013 all over the world.
I. The Lord’s Helping of His People
A. How does the Lord help his people
- By working all for them, without any contribution from them.
- By assisting his people in working.
- By appointing means.
- Sometimes without means.
- Sometimes by contrary means.
B. Why does he help his people?
1. Because they are in covenant with Him
There is a league offensive and defensive betwixt Christ and His people. They have common friends and common enemies. Hence all the attributes of God are engaged for them and their help.
2. Because of their special relation to Him
Christ is the believer’s head. Hence if the foot be hurt, the head in heaven cries out (Acts 9:4). He who is their maker is their husband, their father, and elder brother; in a word, they are one with him, one spirit. This is the ground of sympathy betwixt Christ and his people and secures their help. ‘For he that touches them touches the apple of his eye.’
3. Because they look to Him and trust in Him for their help
4. Because he brought them into trouble to display His glory and to give them greater experiences of His kindness.
II. The Memorial of the Experiences of His Help
A. What is it to keep up the memorial of the Lord’s helping us?
- An observing of the events and experiences we meet with in life.
- A discerning of the Lord’s hand in the help we receive.
- Laying up these experiences in a book or in a faithful memory.
B. What of these experiences of the Lord’s help should be recorded and kept in memory?
- Record the timing or seasonableness of them.
- Record the effects of them upon our spirits.
- Record their harmony and agreement with God’s promise.
- Record their agreement with their prayers.
- Record the place of our experiences.
C. Why should we keep up such a memorial?
- We owe this to God as an act of obedience.
- We owe this to ourselves out of self interest.
- We owe this to others as a witness.
A. To Christians
1. Record your experiences to keep up the memory of them, make you strong, and make you ready to suffer and venture for Christ.
2. Improve your experiences for strengthening your faith and hope for the future.
B. To all – Let God be your helper
- You have many and strong enemies.
- He is a present help,
- He is willing.
- He is able to help you in all cases and at all times.