Barnabas Network International | Online Resources for Churches


A Favourite Bible Verse.


When asked if he had a favourite verse from the Bible, the old farmer thought for a moment and then said with strong conviction, "God helps those who help themselves"! This philosophy sounds so 'right' that I can understand the farmer - and a whole bunch of other people, for that matter - thinking that it could be a wise proverb from the pages of the Bible.


First, it actually refers to God. That's a good clue. Then, it talks about God helping people. We all know that He is supposed to do that, right? Finally, it calls on us to do something and not leave it all up to God. He would never condone such laziness. On the surface, then, it sure sounds like it could be a Bible verse.


However, it is NOT a verse from the Bible. It is one of the many quotes or misquotes that we have assumed must be from the Bible. Another example is this one: "Money is the root of all evil". Actually, the quote should read, "Love of money is the root of all evil". The truth is that money is completely neutral in its nature. But the love of money ushers us into dangerous territory indeed.


Here's another example. "There is no rest for the wicked". How many times have we heard that statement? The actual Bible verse says "There is no peace for the wicked". The statements are almost identical but the one word difference is important to note.


But let's return to the original quote. We need to realize that "God helps those who help themselves" is, in fact, the very opposite of what the Bible teaches; i.e. "God helps those who can't help themselves"! Now that is not a Bible verse but it is a Bible truth.


The simple truth is that, when it comes to being made right with God, being forgiven and empowered to live a Christ-like life, we can't help ourselves. The Bible teaches us that we are dead in our trespasses and sins and we are helpless to change our situation. So it's great news to hear that God helps those who can't help themselves.


Jesus once said that without Him we could do nothing. How much help do we need and where do we seek that help? Do we depend upon our own meager resources or do we trust in His limitless power?

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