Every once in a while I am invited to preach at Mt Hawthorn Baptist Church here in Perth, something I always enjoy. The worship leader there, Gordo, is a passionate guy who plays a fabulous bluesy guitar, and it seems that, each time I have been there, he includes this old hymn in the service. Last time I was there I challenged him in front of the congregation, “So, what does Ebenezer mean anyway?” He rose to the challenge coming straight back with his answer: “It’s a pile of stones, meant in the Old Testament as a memorial to God, usually remembering some great thing God did, or one’s commitment to God.” Great stuff!
I love the third verse, especially, and these lines always hit close to home:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
This version is not as good as the Mt Hawthorn version, especially when the whole congregation is in full voice, but it will have to do!