We all heard the phrase:
"God helps those who help themselves"
Hezekiah 6:1

There is no Biblical Book of Hezekiah.
This quotation that many insist is in the Bible but in fact
is not.


We must learn to be aware of something that may sound good
but it's not Biblical.


The phrase "God helps those who help themselves" is used to
inspire people for self-help.

“God helps those who help themselves” belief says that it is
up to us to determine our destiny, and that God is merely our
assistant, not our foundation.”


The phrase is often mistaken as a scriptural quote, even though it
is not stated in the Bible.


The Bible teaches the opposite.
God helps the helpless!

"For You have been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy
in his distress, A refuge from the storm, A shade from the heat;"
Isaiah 25:4

It originated about 400 years prior to Jesus in Aesop’s Fables, in
the story of Hercules and the Wagoner.

The wagoner’s heavy load leads him to distress because he gets
stuck in the mud.
So the wagoner cries out to Hercules for help.
Hercules told the wagoner: “Get up and put your shoulder to
the wheel. The gods help them that help themselves.”


In 1757, Benjamin Franklin used this slogan in his publication of
'Poor Richard’s Almanac'.

He didn’t believe in a personal God who is actively involved in
the affairs of people, but rather in a God who set the world in
motion but stands at a distance while we fend for ourselves.

Ben Franklin was a deist.
'A deist is one who believes that while a supreme being did indeed
create the universe, that supreme being does not involve itself in
human affairs.
Therefore, miracles and special revelation
(such as healing, prophecy, the virgin birth & resurrection of Jesus,
and the inspiration of the Scriptures) don’t actually happen.'

After Benjamin Franklin, it has become part of the American
custom ever since.




The idea that God helps those who help themselves does not
capture the truth of the Bible.

"He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks
wisely will be delivered."
Proverbs 28:26

Throughout the Bible we're taught to put our trust in the Lord
and wait for his deliverance.
So, to help ourselves gives the idea of self power and contradicts
our own inability or weakness.

What about people who seem incapable of helping themselves.
Who seem, for any number of reasons, helpless to get out
of a situation?
What about someone trapped in circumstances that have gotten
out of control? Will God help them?

Psalm 18: Is about deliverance in the time of need.
Does God say, "Well you got yourself there and you’ll have
to figure how to get yourself out?" No, God reached down from
on high.
It says “God delivered me from my strong enemy.”
Think about that wording. "God delivered me." Delivered.

Picture a UPS driver delivering a package:

Does the driver get help from the package?
Does the driver only deliver those packages that help
deliver themselves?
No.
If God delivered you then you were passive in that rescue.
God delivered you because you couldn’t.



In John 8, Jesus comes to a woman accused of adultery, the
Pharisees, stones in hand, are ready to convict her and punish
her according to the law.
She was helpless, defenseless before the law, but Jesus helped
her even when, especially when, she couldn’t help herself.


There are many instances where Jesus served or healed someone
would be evidence of God helping those who can't help themselves.

"And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved
with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having
a shepherd."
Mark 6:34

"But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him
about her at once. So He came and took her by the
hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her.
And she served them."
Mark 1:30-31


God provides for those who are helpless and needy.

The message of our faith is that God helps those who can not
help themselves.

Paul writes in Romans that while we were still sinners Christ
died for us.
Not when we had gotten our act together, or when we had taken
the first step and God was sure we were really trying.
God looks on those who are most helpless and has mercy
on them.

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord."
Jeremiah 17:5

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope
is the Lord."
Jeremiah 17:7

"Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not
trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us
from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that
He will still deliver us,"
2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Yes, a truly living faith in God is accompanied by good works
(James 2:26), but nowhere in Scripture does the Lord suggest
that we must first help ourselves through such good
works in order to earn His favor.




There are times when we can help ourselves, and we should.
God is counting on us to do the best we can; to pray and to work.

If you are able to do something, and you ask the Lord for help, don't
be
lazy and expect God to do all the work for you.

If you want a job, then put together a resume, get out there and start
applying for jobs, don’t just hang out at home, pray for a job, and
then hope the phone will ring with a job offer.
 
In John 21:6, Jesus promised the disciples a great harvest of fish,
once they threw the net into the water.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:10 admonished that the church should not
give aid to those who can work but refuse to.


"The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of
the diligent shall be made rich."
Proverbs 13:4

"The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to
forced labor."
Proverbs 12:24




So the next time you hear someone say “God helps those who
help themselves,” remember what the Bible says instead:
God helps those who can’t help themselves.

God says, “I love you and will not abandon you.
Put your trust in me.
Together we can make this right.”
This is the message from God that we find over and over again
in Scripture.

“I am here,” says God.
“You matter to me. Your life has meaning.
Nothing, no matter what you may have done or been unable to do,
can separate you from my love.” Jesus says,
"Ask and it will be given to you, everyone who asks shall
receive!"