God does not help those who help themselves
I grew up on it, I don’t know how old you are but I’d presume you did too. For as long as I can remember I’ve this statement, “God helps those who help themselves.” And I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve used it and even believed it myself. See the thing is up until you understand the Lord you’ll accept all you are told about Him by those who you presume know better. That is why the importance of digging into the word and getting a personal relationship with God can never be stressed enough. Regardless of what anyone says to you, God can only be known better by spending time with him. As with any relationship you study your spouse, you learn what they are like, what they like and dislike by investing time in them. Join me as I explore the word of God and challenge this old of “God helping those who help themselves.”
I’ll pick 8 biblical characters who we all know were helped by God. From them we can examine if this notion applied to them at all.
The bible recalls that Daniel was a captive in a foreign land. He was under a ruthless foreign ruler ship. I’d expect that we’d agree that captivity is a place of helplessness. It is a place where one is not in control. Obviously God did a lot of things for Daniel, but perhaps the most outstanding or the most spectacular of them all was when he kept him safe in the lions’ den. Alright David and Samson are both known to have killed a lion with their bare hands. However Daniel was thrown into the lions’ home. It was no longer just one lion here. To worsen the situation, the den was shut. Where Samson and David had room to manoeuvre, Daniel was confined. Bottom line here is “DANIEL COULD NOT HELP HIMSELF”, yet God helped him.
The bible also recalls a young shepherd who had been anointed as king of Israel while another king was still in place. The bible says David was called into Saul’s household to play the harp to calm Saul down when evil spirits arose in him. We understand that Saul had such a hatred for David that he’d throw his spear across the room hoping to pin David to the wall with it. David would evade these attacks. Take a moment to consider this though. David was in the king’s household, the king could simply call his guards into his quarters to grab hold of David while he threw his spear. This did not occur, and I believe that is because the Lord covered David in his helplessness. David was in no position as far as age or ability to fight the royal guards, perhaps one or two. Perhaps some would fear him having seen him take down Goliath. However because of the rewards he had received many would have also hated him as well. Many would have jumped at a chance to smite this “little, over glorified kid.” Bottom line again “DAVID COULD NOT HELP HIMSELF”, yet God helped him. god does not help those who help themselves.
The bible recalls of a young man named Gideon. This young man lived at a time where his people were oppressed. Their crops and livelihood were destroyed. The bible says they were “impoverished”. Their troubles caused them to call unto the Lord. The Lord sent an angel to Gideon, whom the angel called a “warrior”. When given the task of saving Israel, Gideon responds by notifying the Lord of the reasons he could not save Israel. He was the least in his family, and his clan was the weakest in Manasseh. Jehovah picked the most helpless man available, by Gideon’s own admission. If you read further you’ll understand that he did mighty exploits for the Lord, he destroys the Mideanites. By his own admission, “GIDEON COULD NOT HELP HIMSELF”. Judges 6
The bible records no man as physically gifted as Samson. He was chosen from birth to fight the Lord’s cause. As he grew up Samson developed an unsavoury taste for women which ended up costing him everything. When he had his strength Samson achieved mighty things, he killed many Philistines, killed a lion with his bare hands, killed men with a donkey jaw bone. Until his hair was cut Samson seemed to be the ultimate man, he was undefeatable. However once his hair was cut he became helpless, he was at the mercy of those who had been at his mercy. They took away his sight and taunted him. The bible recounts that when they had a great feast, a helpless Samson was tied to a pillar for mockery. However it says in this dark hour of his HELPLESSNESS he called unto the Lord and asked for strength. On that day he killed more Philistines than he had in his entire life. SAMSON ACHIEVED HIS GREATEST FEAT WHEN HE COULD NOT HELP HIMSELF!! Judges 13-16
The bible recounts a story of the man called Peter. Peter was a fisherman who became a disciple of Jesus. We understand that when they came to the arrest of Christ for his crucifixion he cut one of the guards’ ears, which Christ healed. He was a fiery man. However when Christ was captured he was fearful, he denied him 3 times, and after the crucifixion he went into hiding together with the other apostles. He was absolutely helpless, they were all afraid of the persecution that they were going to face. However in the midst of this fear Peter recognised his helplessness and called on God to step in and give them boldness. It says he said, “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” Peter went on to do amazing things for the Lord. He recognised his helplessness, and the Lord came through for him. Acts 4:29. PETER WAS HELPED BY THE LORD WHEN HE COULD NOT HELP HIMSELF!!!! God does not help those who help themselves.
Abraham was possibly the first man that God reached out to individually to for a personal relationship. He is known as the father of faith. He left all he knew and went out only with a word from God. That is faith at its best. The point in question here is when he was asked by God to sacrifice Isaac, the son who he had waited for, for so long. In his obedience Abraham was helpless, he went out to kill his own son. However in his helplessness God came through for Abraham and provided a lamb for the sacrifice. Abraham could not help himself, IN HIS HELPLESSNESS HE WAS HELPED BY THE LORD!!!
Esther, or Hadassah as she is in Hebrew was a captive who the Lord elevated to becoming a queen in a foreign land. She was queen in her captivity. When there was a plot to kill off all Israelites, she was called into action by her uncle Modecai. The king had not seen her for a while, and she was afraid to go uncalled into his presence. She was HELPLESS, she could not HELP HERSELF!! She went into fasting together with the rest of her people. The Lord delivered them, and the man who had plotted against them was placed on the gallows that he had prepared for them! God’s strength was made perfect in her weakness! Esther
The apostle Paul was one of the most influential people among the apostles. He travelled across the world and touched many lives with the word of a risen saviour. This man was a killer, which made him alien to the rest of the Christians. When he became a believer it was almost impossible to start off as no one would believe him. God however set him off on the right foot. He placed the right people around him and allowed him to integrate. At the start Paul was absolutely helpless, He could not help himself!!! God helped Him anyway! Acts
That’s all 8 as promised. Many will argue that by doing such and such a thing you are helping yourself. By calling on God you are not helping yourself; you are in fact asking that he would help you. 2 Cor 12:9 says 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Call on the Lord. He has the helpless; the bible says the physician comes for the sick.
Mark 2:17 says “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
In your helplessness is where God’s strength is made perfect. It is not the strong who need the Lord but the weak. This is why he instructs the weak to say they are strong! By him they are made strong. Submit all to the Lord and he will do all for you. He will give you strength in all situations. So next time someone tells you that “God helps those who help themselves”, tell them that you cannot help yourself, which is why you need God to help you! God bless you. Head on over to our comments and let us know what you think. God does not help those who help themselves.