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How do you feel about the phrase~"God helps them that help themselves?" I thought this was a good read.

Posted by on Apr. 13, 2011 at 7:47 PM
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Can and Won't vs Can't and Don't

Posted by gentle

"God helps those who help themselves!"
Hezekiah 6:1

The book of Hezekiah is not in the Bible but that doesn't stop many people from believing the content of this phantom scripture.  They believe it, quote it and use it to justify their actions or should I say, hide their sin, because people who quote it are usually proud of the fact that they provide for themselves and pride is a sin. (It's the one that comes right before a fall)

By the way, "God helps those who help themselves," is actually a quote from Ben Franklin and it appeared in Poor Richard's Almanac in 1757, but does the content of this oft-quoted scripture contain any shred of truth?  Yes and no.

The children of Israel would still be in bondage today had they not physically got up and left Egypt.  They were told what to do and they did it.  God helped them because they helped themselves.  He had been helping them every day while they were suffering under Pharaoh and might have continued to do so had they refused to leave, but we can all see the difference, can't we?

In a more modern sense, the citizens of New Orleans and surrounding areas were warned that hurricane Katrina was bearing down and they were instructed to leave.  Those who heeded the warning and evacuated were saved and we all know what happened to those who stayed.  Some might say that God was gracious and spared the lives of those who left and perhaps that is true to some extent, but they helped themselves when they acted on the truth.  We shake our heads at those who refused to leave New Orleans even as the winds screamed and the waters rose and carried them away.  Deep down inside we believe those people got what they deserved whether we want to admit it or not.  On the other hand, we are horrified by the inexcusable loss of lives in hospitals and retirement homes because those helpless people were not evacuated for whatever reason. 

Some people wouldn't leave and some people couldn't leave. We feel little compassion for those who could but wouldn't and are moved by those who would but couldn't.

In deference to Hezekiah 6:1, Man helps those who help themselves.  

So what exactly does God have to say about this?

Jer 17:5 (NIV) This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD."

Prov 28:26 (NIV) He who trusts in himself is a fool...

God tells us not to trust in other people but He also says not to trust in ourselves.  Notice that the scripture in Jeremiah has two parts.  The first part is, "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength," and the second is "and whose heart turns away from the Lord."  A would-be survivalist or preparedness freak points to the first part as justification that we are to prepare for calamity, but it is very important to avoid falling into the trap of prideful self-reliance.  Truth be known, none of us will survive the coming calamity without the help of God.

Matthew 24:22 (NIV)  If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

...and this is where the supremacists claim to be the elect.  Whether they be white supremacists,  anti-semitic or just plain self-righteous bigots, some people believe they are superior to everyone else.  They believe they are the elect and God will work only on their behalf.

If you believe you are better than others, you are a supremacist and your heart has turned away from the Lord.

FAIL! [buzzer sounds] Thank you for playing!  Next contestant...

Perhaps you do not believe yourself to be superior to others and you have wisely prepared for calamity.  What if and others around you have not and those others turn to you when their world imploads around them?  It might come down to a matter of could and wouldn't versus would and couldn't because man has a tendency to help those who help themselves.

We personally know some people who have not and will not prepare for any disaster or emergency because, in their own words, "Yahweh will take care of us."  They see the world crumbling around them.  They are watching the economy spiral into the abyss and they are fully aware of the horrific geopolitical nightmares that could easily consume all of us and they hold fast to their faith.  "God will take care of us."  But is it faith or folly when a person sees a violent storm approaching and refuses to do anything about it?

Should these faith-paralyzed folks one day lose their faith and show up on my doorstep wanting me to save them, as they undoubtedly will, I might be inclined to say, "Yahweh will take care of you," and then I'd close the door in their face because I'm like that...and so are you.  We are all more inclined to help someone who would but couldn't as opposed to someone who could but wouldn't.  Perhaps Yahweh will send the ravens to provide food for them as he did for the prophet Elijah.  Ah, but what if He doesn't?

Those who know they should prepared and sincerely plan on doing something about it someday but never get around to it will still go down with the rest.  They are members of the could but wouldn't category.  These are people who don't usually accomplish much in life anyway because they are lazy. 

I can hear it now.
"You go on Moses but we're staying because Yahweh will take care of us."
"We see the hurricane coming but we will not run because Yahweh will take care of us."
"We see the hurricane coming and we'll evacuate...sometime."
"We see a famine coming but we do not have to put food aside because Yahweh will take care of us."
Or as the supremacists would say,
"I am the elect and the rest of the world can and will go to hell."

To the pious "Yahweh will take care of us" crowd:

James 2:18-24 (NIV)
18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder.
20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?
21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?
22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend.
24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

To the disgusting "I am the elect" crowd:

Matthew 7:22-23 (NIV)
22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'
23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

To the rest:

I Timothy 5:8 (NIV)
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

My family and relatives are important to me and I will prepared for them and I will care for them.  

Those who can and won't do what is necessary to take care of themselves need to be aware of this one very important fact.  I am not God.  I have seen that job description and I am obviously not qualified.  Do not put your trust in me or anyone else to take care of you if you have not done everything you can to take care of yourself...and you might want to discuss your irresponsible behavior with the Father to see how He feels about it.

by on Apr. 13, 2011 at 7:47 PM
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by Group Owner on Apr. 13, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Now as I read this I thought back on the story of the little ants and the playing grasshopper. That was 1 of the stories that I had or kids read when they were growing up and just felt that they could play the entire day away when they could have gotten their chores done. I just figure that when kids become a certain age they are aged enough to understand that "HELPING" around the home and property during the nicer weather will benefit us all in the wet and colder months.

As a homeschool family for 18 years, that story was well used. Today I share it with other kids and our Grand-daughter.

I also believe that God helps them that do help themselves; but that also look too and depend on Him for all their needs. Faith without works is dead and i strongly believe that we as His children do look to Him in all things believing that if it be according to His will and His way then it will happen.

How many times have you heard a brother or a sister in the Lord use this saying? I used to believe the words were in the Bible just like they quoted it; but, the words are not there.

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