Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Exposing the 2nd biggest Misquote from the Bible

This past Sunday we continued our NEW SERMON SERIES "YOU PICK" We had a fun fathers day dealing with famous misconceptions and misquotes from the Bible." If you missed the message you can listen to it at or you can listen on iTunes at This Sunday we will continue our series with part 4 "Is the world really ending?"

Before I deal with the 2nd biggest misquote in the Bible, "God only helps them who helps themselves," I wanted to answer a few questions I had asked on Sunday. The Bible does not say Adam and Eve ate an apple. It actually says in Genesis 3:6 that she ate the forbidden fruit. The Bible does not say Jonah was swallowed by a whale. It says in Jonah 1:17 that Jonah was swallowed by a "great fish." Finally, it doesn't say that there were 3 wise men that brought Jesus gifts at his birth. We get that from the 3 gifts that were brought to Jesus.

God only helps those who help themselves has been quoted by people all over the country and even by the White House Press Secretary...check this out!

When White House press secretary Jay Carney was giving the press conference Wednesday touting President Obama's jobs bill, he invoked a popular saying that he said comes from the Bible. President Obama had urged passage of a provision in his job bill by saying, “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work.” A reporter later asked Carney if Obama crossed the line by bringing God into the jobs debate. Carney’s response: “I believe that the phrase from the Bible is, ‘The Lord helps those who help themselves.' ”

So, is that an actual verse or phrase from the Bible? No it is not! If it's not from the Bible, then where did it come from? It actually is attributed to Benjamin Franklin. He wrote that in 1736 in his "Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac.

Yes there is a verse in the Bible that says, "If you don't work you don't eat." It's found in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13...10 Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” 11 Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. 12 We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. 13 As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.
We are also challenged in Proverbs 6:6 to learn a lesson from the Ants and how hard they work. Proverbs 10:4 reminds us that those who are lazy will be poor. Proverbs 13:4 reminds us that those who work hard will prosper. Romans 12:11 commands us to never be lazy but to work hard for the Lord with enthusiasm.

So there is this theme in the Bible of working hard, giving your best and doing everything unto God as worship. However, it doesn't say that God only helps those who helps themselves. This statement seems to promote a self-reliance on one's own power rather than trusting wholly in God. There are plenty of verses that actually show us that our strength comes from complete dependence on Him alone. God delights in helping those who will give Him all of the glory, honor and praise.

Isaiah 40.29.29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
Isaiah 41.10. 10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand Ephesians 3.7. By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. Ephesians 3.16. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Ephesians 3:20
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Psalm 68.35--
God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God! Ephesians 1:10—Be strong in the Lord and in HIS mighty power.

The misquote is popular in part because it is a reflection of cherished American values: individual liberty and self-reliance, says Sidnie White Crawford, a religious studies scholar at the University of Nebraska.

So there is this delicate balance. When we takes steps of faith and depend on God, He will be faithful and provide, bless, open doors etc. However, it wasn't our brilliance, strength or stamina that caused or created it. It was God's amazing grace and blessing on our lives that has given us the opportunity and rewards.

Can God move mountains in your life if you don't take a step...NO. However, when you do take a step don't think for one moment that you had the strength to move the mountain. May God always get the glory, honor and praise.

(For further study do some research on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a gift of rest to God's people. It's a reminder that the world revolves around Him and not us. It reminds us that there is only one God and we are not Him :)

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