“GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES”
IS NOT BIBLICAL!
Compiled by Nancy B. Detweiler, M.Ed., M.Div.
How often do we hear this quote? But, where did it originate? Surely, not the Bible!
The phrase is thought to have originated in ancient Greece in one of Aesop’s Fables, “Hercules & the Waggoner.” i
Algernon Sydney proclaimed this philosophical view in 1698 in his Discourses Concerning Government. You may read about Algernon Sydney at the URL in this Endnote. ii
In 1757, Ben Franklin used the quote in his Poor Richard’s Almanac.
This phrase is repeated ad infinitum as justification for all sorts of prejudicial actions by American lawmakers, like cutting out food stamps, ending workers’ compensation, cutting welfare benefits, refusing to raise minimum wages. Even the highly touted American Dream promise is based on this quote.
These actions are in direct contradiction to God’s Higher Law as demonstrated in Jesus’ Parable of the Laborers in Matthew 20. Jesus used parables as a means of teaching “For the kingdom of heaven is like ….” In other words, this is how God creates laws … this householder characterizes the kingdom of heaven.
The parable is the story of a householder who hires workers for his vineyard at varying times of the day. “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages; and begin from the last ones to the first.’ When those hired at the eleventh hour came, they each received a penny. But when the first ones came, they expected to receive more; but they also got each one a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the householder, saying, ‘These last ones have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal with us who have borne the burden of the day and the heat.’ He answered, saying to one of them, ‘My friend, I am not doing you an injustice; did you not bargain with me for a penny? Take what is yours and go away; I wish to give to this last one the same as to you. Have I no right to do what I wish with mine own? Or are you jealous because I am generous?’ Even so the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 20: 1-16)
God’s Law states: “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure shaken down and running over they will pour into your robe (Endnote reads: Easterners carry wheat from house to house in the folds of their robes.) For with the measure that you measure, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38) No mention of work here.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures buried in the ground (i.e. in the banks), a place where rust and moth destroy and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves a treasure in heaven, where neither rust nor moth destroys and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there also is your heart.” (Matthew 6:19 -21) No mention of working hard and saving money toward achieving the American Dream here.
“God is no respecter (God does not show partiality) of persons; but among all people, he who fears (stands in awe of) him and works righteousness (abides by God’s laws) is accepted with him.” (Acts 19:34b-35) No mention of helping themselves here.
“Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8b) No work required here.
“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you (without partiality), that you also love one another. By this every man shall know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” (John 13:34-35)
In light of the above HIGHER LAWS OF GOD, I encourage us to be more careful creating laws based on phrases characterizing our Father/Mother God that are in direct contradiction to the Universal Laws of God!
Our planet is ascending to higher dimensions of consciousness where love for one another prevails. Let us begin, today, to love without partiality! As we live in LOVE, money will quickly become obsolete. Work for survival’s sake will be no more.
Scriptural quotes are from Lamsa’s translation from the Aramaic of the Peshitta. “The Peshitta is the text of the Church of the East which has come down from the biblical times without any changes or revision.“ (Mar Eshai Shimun by grace, Catholicos Patriarch of the East)
Filed under: Universal Laws