God Helps

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There has been no one who achieved a great work alone without help from others. In the case of the forefathers of faith, too, none of them became great by themselves without someone’s help.

We may receive help from men. However, the greatest help comes from God who made and governs all things in the universe. The help of man may lead us to failure or destruction. But God’s help always leads us to success and eternal salvation. Nothing fails if it is done with God’s help.

The person whom God helps is the strongest one

This is what happened when the Han dynasty was founded in China. After the great unification, the first emperor of the Han dynasty enjoyed a peaceful reign. One day, he asked his great general Han Xin, one of his devoted retainers.

“How many soldiers do you think I can put under my command?”

“I think you can command about a hundred thousand,” said Han Xin.

“How many can you command then?” the emperor asked.

“The more, the better.”

The emperor was somewhat displeased, for he felt that Han Xin considered himself better than him. But he smiled and asked Han Xin, “Why do you think I can command only a hundred thousand, saying you can do more? Then, how can you remain under my command?” Han Xin looked serious and said, “I’m merely a general commanding soldiers, no matter how many ones I command. But you are the emperor commanding thousands of generals like me. O Emperor, your help comes from heaven. You have no equal in power.”

Right. The person whom God helps is the strongest one; he never fails in anything that he does.

Only 300 men defeated 135,000 with God’s help

In Israelite history, we can see that many people won a victory with God’s help. Let’s see the case of Gideon and his 300 men who won a victory over 135,000 Midianites during the Period of Judges.

Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords … Jdg 7:19-23

In the days of Gideon, Israel had been under the rule of Midian, losing its sovereignty. At that time, Gideon was given a mission to go up against the Midianites.

The number of Israelite soldiers was 32,000 at first. But God let the people, who trembled with fear, return; and there left 10,000. Then God said to Gideon, “You have too many soldiers,” and told him how to select among them. According to God’s order, Gideon reduced the number of soldiers; after all, there were only 300 men left.

With the trumpet sound, 300 soldiers defeated 135,000. Do you think it’s possible in reality? If there had been no help from God, it would have been impossible. However, God was with them and helped them.

At first, Gideon feared without confidence. He prayed to God to show him the proof of His help. Through various evidences, Gideon was convinced that God was helping him, and he and his 300 men could completely defeat a very large army of Midianites. It was not because Gideon himself excelled in tactics that he won a great victory that day, but because God was with him and helped him.

David and Solomon, with God’s help, became great kings

David, whom God was with, faced many crises and difficulties; but he became king of Israel after all. He realized that God’s help made everything possible, and praised God.

I lift up my eyes to the hills―where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Ps 121:1-2

Several times David barely escaped death, when he was banished from the presence of King Saul; he had many bitter experiences. But finally he ascended to the throne of Israel and became a good shepherd leading his people to God. He won every battle, and his people praised him, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”

We need to pay attention to this: It was by God’s help that David could achieve success in everything—in battles and in his reign. In these last days, too, the gospel will swiftly be accomplished when we work with God’s help, not with our own abilities, knowledge and thought. Though we lack power, wisdom and knowledge, we never fail because it is God who helps us. We, whom God helps, will be given the name that is above all the names of the able men in the world.

As David realized that all his help came from God—the Maker of heaven and earth, so did Solomon the son of David; he realized that an invisible great power had been helping him until Israel was founded on a solid foundation and became prosperous. In Psalms, Solomon wrote:

Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. Ps 127:1

This word shows that all our labors are vain unless God helps us. Solomon, known as the “wise king,” realized that unless God was with him as his helper, his house or city or country would not be established forever.

There is no one greater than those who receive God’s help. By them, this world will be managed and the last salvation work will be accomplished.

God helps those who obey His commands

Now, let us find out what kind of people God helps. God even teaches us how to receive His help.

If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God … You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you … The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them. Dt 28:1-14

God helps those who follow all His commands. Whoever desires God’s help shall obey God and faithfully keep all His commands, as it is written in Deuteronomy 28. So did all Biblical heroes who received God’s constant help.

God helped Judah who celebrated the Passover

In the days of King Hezekiah, when the army of Assyria invaded Judah, God helped Judah who celebrated the Passover.

“Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria: “‘He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city, declares the LORD. I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’” That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning―there were all the dead bodies! 2 Ki 19:31-35

When the army of Assyria was about to attack Jerusalem, Hezekiah king of Judah prayed earnestly to God. Then God heard his prayer and helped him. The Assyrian army didn’t shoot an arrow; even before a close battle, a hundred and eighty-five thousand enemies were completely destroyed by the heavenly army in one night.

Here, we must remember that before King Hezekiah was helped by God, he had obeyed God’s command and celebrated the Passover (2 Chronicles 30). At that time, King Hezekiah sent couriers even to regions in northern Israel, that the people should come to celebrate the Passover. However, the people of Israel scorned and ridiculed the couriers. Three years later, Israel, who ignored God’s feast and rejected His command, was besieged by the Assyrian army and fell to Assyria in the end (2 Ki 18:9-12).

Just after destroying Israel, Assyria attacked Judah, too. In those days, Judah was smaller and weaker than Israel. However, God’s help was there for Judah. No matter how strong the Assyrian empire was, it was impossible to defeat the kingdom that God helped. As it is written in Deuteronomy 28, any person or nation who obeys God’s commands is to be set high above all the nations of the earth. But for the adversary of that person or nation there is only one thing—it is destruction.

God helps the 144,000

We are celebrating God’s appointed feasts in Zion, obeying His words and commands. We are the ones whom God helps. In doing the gospel work, we must not forget that God will surely give us success and victory in the end.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish … Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Isa 41:10-14

God said that He would help us and all our opposers would be turned back and perish. This is God’s unchangeable word given to us through the prophet Isaiah about 2,700 years ago. God is with all who faithfully follow His will, and helps them in everything.

We are in Zion, where God’s help and grace accompany us; nothing is impossible for us. We may go through difficulties, but ultimately we will win. Zion is filled with the people whom God helps. Will the gospel work fail? Certainly not.

We should not forget that the person whom God helps is the strongest one in the world. To get God’s help, however, we need to pray. Through constant prayer, let’s have God’s help all the time, so that we may faithfully carry out the gospel work entrusted to us.

Little hardship and great glory

One more thing we have to bear in mind is that God does not always lead us on a level path, so that we may become His great people. That is why we frequently face storms in our life. After going through hardships, we come to get glory and honor God has prepared for us. That is God’s principle.

God has promised that we, who are in Zion, will receive the heavenly glory and enjoy it forever, even for ever and ever. And He has also told us to share in Christ’s sufferings in order that we may share in His glory. This gospel will be accomplished without fail, and we will surely inherit the kingdom of heaven. However, there are some hardships and difficulties in our course. With God’s constant help, we must endure all hardships.

Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, … The reason all these people became great was that God helped them. Now, the 144,000 are greater than many other Biblical heroes. It is because they receive much more help and grace from God.

God does help us when we do what He pleases. He always gives us strength and courage, saying, “Surely I will help you. Do not fear; I will help you.” All who oppose the truth will perish, just as many countries have vanished into history. But the glory of God’s kingdom and of the 144,000 will endure forever and ever. Thinking of the everlasting kingdom, let’s obey all God’s commands, so that we may receive God’s help all the time.