Where Does the Bible Say That God Helps Those Who Help Themselves?
The Bible doesn’t say that God helps them who themselves anywhere! This is the most commonly quoted saying that sounds like it’s from the Bible but is not. Some believe the saying is from Poor Richard’s Almanac by Benjamin Franklin, although it probably originated in ancient Greece.
Why does it feel like the Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves? Because there are some Biblical truths in that statement. But let’s be clear, the Bible never says that God ONLY helps those who help themselves. In fact, the Bible teaches the opposite!
What Does the Bible REALLY Say About God’s Help?
The Bible teaches that God rewards those who work diligently. But it doesn’t stop there. It ALSO says that God helps those who can’t help themselves.
Does God help those who help themselves?
Where does the Bible teach the PRINCIPLE that God helps those who help themselves? In Proverbs 16:3, we read, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” This is a promise that if we are working hard and trying to do things right, God will help us.
It also says in Proverbs that the Lord generally rewards diligence. For example, Proverbs 12:24 says, “The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.” And Proverbs 13:4 says, “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” So there are some principles in Scripture that would back up the statement, “God helps those who help themselves.”
So there are principles of truth in the saying, “God helps those who help themselves. But it also can create problems for us and the way we expect God to act.
Does God help those who can’t help themselves?
The Bible also teaches that God is gracious and merciful, and He provides help to those who CANNOT help themselves. In fact, the whole gospel is based on this principle! We are all sinners who can’t save ourselves. We need a Savior! And that’s exactly what God provided in Jesus Christ.
In Ephesians 2:8-9, it says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” So even our salvation is a gift from God that we could never earn on our own. The Biblical truth is that we can never get to God on our own merit. We are utterly helpless on our own.
We can’t work for our salvation. In fact, God’s word expressly says the opposite and that God opposes the proud. Our salvation is always and only through Christ Jesus. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So even though we sinned and deserve punishment, God gives us His Son as a free gift. And when we receive that gift by faith, we are saved!
The gospel is good news for those who cannot help themselves.
The Bible also teaches that God is our help and our strength. In Psalm 46:1, it says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” And in Philippians 4:13, it says, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” So even when we are struggling and don’t have
The Bible is full of verses that tell us that God helps those who can’t help themselves. For example, Psalm 146:5-6 says, “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever.”
And Psalm 103:13 says, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.”
These verses show us that God is compassionate and merciful, and He helps those who can’t help themselves. Scripture teaches that He is a God of grace, and He provides help to those who need it.
Jesus frequently helped people who could not help themselves. In Matthew 14:14, we read about how Jesus fed the five thousand. In Matthew 15:30-31, we read about how Jesus healed the sick. And in Matthew 20:29-34, we read about how Jesus healed two blind men. And ultimately, Christ died for our sins.
In each of these cases, Jesus helped people who could not help themselves. He provided for their needs and met them where they were at. He is a God of compassion and mercy, and He helps those who can’t help themselves.
Examples from the Bible of God helping those who are helpless
While the Bible has some examples of God helps those who help themselves, it has far more examples of God helping the utterly helping those who are utterly helpless.
For example, in John 6:1-15, we read about how Jesus fed the five thousand. The people had nothing to offer in return and they could not have helped themselves. They were completely helpless. And yet, Jesus met their need by providing food for them.
In the Old Testament, we see the same principle at work. In Exodus 17:1-7, we read about how God provided water for the Israelites when they were thirsty. They could not have helped themselves. They were in the desert and completely helpless. And yet, God met their need by providing water for them.
In the gospel of Matthew we read about two blind men who cried out to Jesus for help (Matthew 20:29-34). They were helpless. They could not see and they could not help themselves. And yet, Jesus met their need by healing them.
These examples show us that God is a God who helps those who are helpless. The Bible tells us that He is a God of compassion and that He loves to help the weak. The Holy Spirit gives us strength when we have none. The Holy Spirit encourages us when we’re worn out.
When Israel was forced against the Red Sea, everything looked completely hopeless. They could not help themselves. But God is a God who works miracles. He parted the sea so they could escape. He is a God who helps those who are helpless.
The Bible tells us that we can’t help ourselves either. In Romans 3:10-12, it says, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
We are all sinners. We can’t help ourselves. We need God’s help. And thankfully, He is a God who helps those who can’t help themselves. He provides for our needs and meets us where we are at.
Bible Verses About God Helps Those Who Who Help Themselves
Let’s look at some verses about God helping those who help themselves. These are verses that show that God rewards diligence and hard work.
Proverbs 14:23 – “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”
Proverbs 16:3 – “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
Proverbs 22:29 – “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.”
Proverbs 27:18 – “The diligent man will be richly blessed, but the lazy man will not go unpunished.”
These verses show us that God notices when we work hard and He rewards it. He is a God of justice, and He sees when we put in the effort. In some ways God helps those who help themselves.
Bible Verses About Helping the Utterly Helpless
Now let’s look at some verses about helping the utterly helpless. These are verses that show us that God is concerned for those who can’t help themselves.
Psalm 146:5-9 – “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them–the LORD, who remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.”
Romans 5:6 – “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”
1 Corinthians 1:27 – “But God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of this world to shame the strong.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.”
These verses show us that God is concerned for those who are powerless and helpless. He is a God of compassion, and He loves to help the weak. The Bible tells us that we can’t help ourselves either. We need God’s help. And thankfully, He is a God who helps those who can’t help themselves. He provides for our needs and meets us where we are at.