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Does The Lord Help Those Who Help Themselves?

 

"The Lord helps those who help themselves" is probably the most often quoted phrase that is not found in the Bible.

This saying is usually attributed to Ben Franklin, quoted in Poor Richard's Almanac in 1757. In actuality, it originated from Algernon Sydney in 1698 in an article titled Discourses Concerning Government.

Whatever the original source of this saying is, the Bible teaches the opposite.

God helps the needy. Isaiah 25:4 declares, "For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall."

Romans 5:6 tells us, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."

Concerning Salvation, we are all utterly needy. We have all sinned (Romans 3:23), and we are all condemned as a result of our sin (Romans 6:23). There is nothing we can do on our own to remedy this situation (Isaiah 64:6), we must receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Thankfully, God is our helper. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Jesus paid the penalty for our sin that we were incapable of paying (2 Corinthians 5:21). God provided the only way we could be reconciled to Him through the free gift of Salvation in Jesus Christ.

Apart from salvation, there is a possibility that the concept "God helps those who help themselves" is accurate only in the context of activity and obedience to scripture.

As an example, if you asked me to help you do a household chore, and then just watched me as I completed the task for you, I was not actually helping you. I would be doing the work for you.

Many Christians fall into the trap of inactivity, disobedience and complacency.

Many Believers ask God for help and then sit back expecting God to do everything for them. They excuse this by pointing to the fact that God will provide according to His will and in His timing. However, this is not a reason for inactivity or disobedience to scripture.

Another example would be: If you need of a job, you go to the Lord in prayer and you ask the Lord to help you find a job - then you must be active in actually looking for a job. While it is in His power to do so, it is highly unlikely that God will cause employers to come looking for you. We must do our part and ask God to help us find the job HE has for us.