"God Helps Those Who Help Themselves." True OR False??
Okay friends, here is an interesting one for us today! This phrase gets used SO much, yet it still never ceases to surprise me. I was watching a popular TV show the other night with my husband and the main character on the show uses this particular quote as a "direct" quote from the Bible! As you can imagine my feathers got a little ruffled as I wondered how many people watching sat there and said, "Yeah, that's True!" The quote I am referring to, of course, comes directly from our title today, which is "God helps those who help themselves." This happens to be another overly used statement that many people believe comes straight from the Bible itself. In fact a recent study shows 1 out of every 8 Americans believes the Bible not only teaches this, but says it directly! Let's Answer the question today, "Is that statement True or False?" I want to be clear right away that you could search all through the Bible and you would NOT find this quote. In fact I want to share something so Beautiful with you this morning...the Bible teaches us the exact opposite!! Before we get into that, however, let's uncover some truth about where this phrase actually originated. Do you have a guess? Most people think it came from Benjamin Franklin in his famous "Poor Richard's Almanac." Now he certainly popularized it, but it originated from Algernon Sidney who was an English Political Theorist, and before that it was illustrated by two of Aesop's Fables. The next place you will find a rendering of this statement might surprise you. You can find this thought in the Quran! Now, before I tell you how it is put in the Quran, let us consider the sources from where this quote originated. We have the author of Aesop's fables speaking of "the gods" coming to people's aid, you have a political theorist, and Benjamin Franklin (believed to be a deist) who did not believe in a personal God, but in a God who does not get involved with the human race, and finally you have the Quran, which teaches that people must get themselves right before "Allah" will come to their aid! It is clear that none of these sources Knew or Know our God personally, and they certainly cannot speak for Him!! Let's take the Quran. It is literally teaching that "Allah will not change the conditions of a population until THEY change what is IN Themselves!" Did you hear that? The expectation and rule that comes from the Quran as well as the heart of this very statement is that people MUST change THEMSELVES before God will help them. They Must Initiate, and start that process themselves FIRST! Can we see how that is in DIRECT OPPOSITION TO THE TRUTH OF GOD"S WORD? WE CANNOT CHANGE or SAVE ourselves!! WE have NEVER been the initiator in any part of God's redemptive plan! Now before anyone yells at me, God Does, of course, call us to be a diligent, & hard worker, and we DO have a part to play in our relationship with God, Absolutely! But this is the EXCITING, Beautiful, Heart Pounding news I want to share with you today. He does not wait for us to have it all together Before He comes to our aid! Let me share just a few scriptures with you! "When we were Utterly HELPLESS, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners." Rom. 5:6 (nlt) You see, God doesn't just help those who help themselves, He came to our rescue when we were ALL Utterly Help-LESS!! Think of this one, "By grace you have been saved through faith; and that is NOT of YOURSELVES, it is the GIFT of God!" Eph. 2:8. We can go back even further and realize that God acted FIRST in Creating us, in Speaking TO US, in Revealing Himself and His Law to us, in Calling us, in Guiding us, in Saving us, and in sharing with us the New Covenant we are now under and the future coming of His reign and rule we are all waiting for! He tells us that "We Love because HE FIRST loved us!" - 1 John 4:19. He says that we did not choose Him, but that He FIRST chose us! He is the INITIATOR, the FULL-FILLER, and the FINISHER!!
Let's remember exactly who it was that God came to Earth to Help. Scripture tells us that He came to seek and save the LOST. HE said it was not for the healthy that he came but for the sick. He did not come to call those who thought they were righteous (those who have helped themselves), but to call those who new they were sinners (the Help-Less). That's OUR God!! You see He stands alone! There is NO Other god like our God! Not Greek mythical gods, not Ourselves, and not Allah! God says in Is. 46:9, "I AM God and there is NO other; I AM God and there is NONE like me!" And He means that! Even in this small example of history He is the Only One who does not tell us to get our stuff together and then maybe He will help us, He says "Come to Me ALL who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest!" You see we "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," and yet the will of the Father is that "EVERYONE who looks on the son and believes in Him should have eternal life!" If you have ever heard a statement like the one that is the title of this post and have believed that you need to make yourself "Right" before God would ever consider helping you, I want to tell you today that that thought is a Lie meant to keep you from coming into the open, loving, forgiving, healing, and saving arms of Jesus Christ! "The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." Let the one who HEARS say, "Come." And let the one who is THIRSTY COME; Let the one who Desires Take the Water of LIFE Without Price!" - Rev. 22:17 Instead of championing the statement that says "God helps those who help themselves" let's champion the Over Powering TRUTH that God Helps the Helpless!!
That's OUR GOD and THAT is How HE HELPS US!! Freely, and Fully, and with Finality! I encourage you to meditate this week on the amazing Truth that God helps us who are helpless! He comes to the aid of those who need Him, who cry out to Him! He heals the broken-hearted and binds up our wounds. He is a Father to the Fatherless, and Protector of the widows. He gathers the outcasts, and He makes Beauty from Ashes!! Surrender to Him this week any area you have been trying to fix yourself, and let Him Help you with ALL of His power and might! There is NOTHING you have to wait for! Run to Him and find in Him your All IN All!!!
Here are some scripture for meditation this week: Rom. 5:6, Eph. 2:8, 1 John 4:19, John 15:16, Luke 19:10, Mark 2:17, Heb. 13:5-6