“GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP themselves”. How many people have heard this quoted as Scriptural? I for one. Not growing up in a Christian home, I heard a lot of people say this and I thought it was in the Bible, until I became a Christian and read the Bible for myself. It’s not. I actually can remember people telling me, “The Bible says that God helps those who help themselves”. What a lie.
This saying is heard around the world and is also often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, where he used it in “Poor Richard’s Almanac”; but the phrase originated in Ancient Greece as “the gods help those who help themselves”. From the beginning of creation, Satan’s tactics have been to elevate self, “Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”” Genesis 3:4-5
Do we have a work to do? Yes. Does God help us in our work for Him? Yes. So why is this saying not true? Well, because God is my source of help and strength. I do not do my will and my work and then the Lord comes along beside me to help. This is the same way people translate Jer 29:11, God comes along side me to bless my plans. Semantics matter. Words matter.
How we define something matters. I submit to the Lord and do His will and His work. Because I am submitted, His work is done by His strength. I am just a willing vessel. His help does not come because I am helping myself. His help comes because I realize I cannot do His work on my own strength and I seek Him for help.
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.”
Psalms 121:1-2 NKJV
Satan spoke the original lie, “You will be like God” and humans have been reaching to obtain that goal ever since. OT Scholar Dennis Kinlaw said this, “Satan disquises submission to himself under the ruse of personal autonomy. He never asks us to become his servants. Never once did the serpent say to Eve, “I want to be your master.” The shift in commitment is never from Christ to evil; it is always from Christ to self. And instead of His will, self-interest now rules and what I want reigns. And that is the essence of sin.”
“He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.”
Psalms 147:10-11 NKJV
He does not delight in the strength of the horse. The horse is among the noblest works of God, perhaps the noblest of all the animals that He has made. Yet God regards with more interest and pleasure humility than He does any mere power, however great and wonderful it may be. He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
The reference is to man as capable of rapid marches, of quick movements in assaulting an enemy; the allusion being to an army prepared for war, cavalry and infantry, the horse moving on with resistless force and the foot-soldiers with rapid motion. But the Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him — “He delights to give those his assistance and protection who, worshipping him devoutly, fear to offend him; and having no help in themselves, nor any earthly refuge to flee to, depend, notwithstanding, with a steadfast faith on his infinite mercy.” — Benson commentary
God does not delight in your strength and ability to do something. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”. What delights Him is when in humility, you realize your weakness and frailty and cry out to Him for help and strength. In your own strength, you may accomplish much. The human spirit can do a lot and I in my own strength can accomplish much. But in my strength, I receive no help from the Lord.
However, in His strength, you can do all things impossible. You have the choice. You can march on in your pride and singing Frank Sinatra’s “I did it my way”; or you can fall down before Him in humility, crying out, “I am undone! Lord help me and strengthen me”. God gets no glory when you do it in your own strength. At some point, you will fail and fall down weak and beaten. But in His strength, you can overcome all things, you can endure all persecution and affliction, walk through the valley of the shadow of death and come through the fiery furnace without even the smell of smoke.
To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page