Ebenezer Scrooge is the famous name of the main character in Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol
. Everyone knows the name but what about the meaning? What does Ebenezer Scrooge mean and why does it matter? Ebenezer
If you watch the movie or read the novel you will notice that in the early scenes of his life Scrooge is called by his first name Ebenezer. Ebenezer is a good name, it is a biblical name. In the Hebrew it means "Rock of Help" and it appears in the Bible when the prophet Samuel ( I Samuel 7) sets up a memorial stone to remind Israel of how God delivered them from the Philistines. God is their "Rock of Help".Scrooge
Scrooge is the name the character is most often referred to when he gets older. Yes, it probably is his last name but there is far more going on here than a transition from first to last names. Scrooge the noun means #1. Ebenezer, a miserly curmudgeon in Dickens A Christmas Carol
. #2. Any miserly person. Scrooge the verb comes from the word scrouge and means to squeeze.* That is exactly what Scrooge the miser does as he squeezes others in order to enrich himself, in order to provide for himself.Exile
So when does Ebenezer become Scrooge and why does it matter? Well the popularity of A Christmas Carol
over all these years tells you that it is a timeless tale that touches people in their heart. It is a story we all can identify with and here's why.
The first spirit takes Scrooge into his past and shows him " a solitary child, neglected by his friends", and left alone at a boarding school. Exiled from his father, alienated from others the seed of self preservation takes root in his heart. And how does one take care of and provide for himself or herself? With money. It is the idol that so easily sets itself up in every heart, replacing God the Father, the God who richly provides for His children.
Dallas Willard writes: " Most people fail to serve because they have a sense of scarcity
in their lives. Out of their scarcity
they refuse to serve because they're worried that if they serve someone else, there won't be enough left for them. We can serve only out of abundance.
Jesus had that abundance
because he knew where he came from and where he was going."*
When you're trying to provide for yourself, enough is never enough. When you trust God for your provision, you realize He is enough.Return
Scrooge is delivered from his miserly, meager existence by falling through death into life.* It is a beautiful picture of restoration to God that is accomplished through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, the true Servant. Scrooge becomes Ebenezer, a "Rock of Help". He becomes who he was created to be , a restoration of original glory. He becomes a servant and as Dickens writes" He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other old city, town or borough, in the good old world. *
Merry Christmas and God Bless Us, Every One!
1. Random House Webster's College Dictionary
2. "Surrendering Our Kingdom To The God Who Is Enough" by Dallas Willard
3. See Movieglimpse A Christmas Carol
4. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens