God Helps Those Who Help Themselves……….
How many times, were you told these words, when you were a young person growing up and discovering all the wonderful things in life?
Words from parents, family, friends, teachers, perhaps, some suggesting that these were the words of Jesus and at the very least – from the bible.
But, this of course, is not the case; the expression is simply a case of ancient Greek folklore and is not specifically stated in the scriptures
Wikipedia puts it like this:
“The phrase “God helps those who help themselves” is a popular motto that emphasizes the importance of self-initiative and agency. The phrase originated in ancient Greece and may originally have been proverbial. It is illustrated by two of Aesop ‘Fables and a similar sentiment is found in ancient Greek drama. Although it has been commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, the modern English wording appears earlier in Algernon Sidney’s work.
The phrase is often mistaken as a scriptural quote, but is not stated verbatim in the Bible. However, there are many verses which underscore believers’ duties to work both for themselves and their families, such as Proverbs 6:10-11, 12:11, 12:24, 13:4, and I Timothy 5:8.”
Does God really (only) help those, who begin first, to help themselves? I’m sure that all of us know of cases where there are those that cannot help themselves, however hard they may desire to do so.
My immediate response to an answer that says ‘yes’ to the above question, is that none of us really knows the mind of God and how He will respond to any individual’s dilemma or any one situation.
Of course, there are certain verses in the Bible that will point us to the character and nature of our almighty Father in heaven, but be reassured no word has been spoken or written that will encompass the full nature and character of God.
I put my own understanding of this expression in these (my own) words:
‘God will more readily be able to help those of us whose faith leads them to take a step forward, believing that what they are about to do, is God’s answer to their prayers’.
The statement, “God helps those…..” on face value, suggests that we must first decide, in our own intellect and then act in our own strength to gain God’s support for the answer to our prayers.
However, let none of us forget that God created a universe that operates on unbreakable laws, such as, ‘what goes up must come down’. If you and I do not sow and reap in the right seasons, we will have no harvest by which to live.
It could be understood then, that as we obey the laws of the universe in sowing and reaping in the correct season, God has ‘helped’ us harvest as we have been obedient to his laws.
In other words, we have done something in His strength, not our own.
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