A couple years back, I was introduced to the writings of Rick Riordan. He is best known for his series of novels on Greek and Egyptian mythology–Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus. They are fun, enjoyable books about the adventures of heroes.
All of Riordan’s books have a theme–the gods, whether Greek, Roman, or Egyptian, need the help of humans. In his novels, the heroes are demi-gods, or the children of the gods when they hooked up with mortals. A few weeks ago, I saw the trailer of an upcoming movie entitled, “Immortals.” The tagline? “The Gods need a hero!”
While I enjoy the stories and adventures, they got me to thinking. Does God really need my help? Is he in trouble? Did the enemy back him into a corner? Was he surprised by a disastrous turn of events? Did his greed, pride, lust, or impatience lead him to make a faulty decision which resulted in his peril? Does God need my help to bail him out?
Lest we be too hard on writers of mythology, there are some biblical characters who practiced the same philosophy. Abram and Sarai knew that God had promised them a son in their old age (Genesis 15). After waiting a dozen years, they took matters into their own hands and followed a custom of the day to produce an heir (Genesis 16). They tried to bail God out and it led to a disastrous mess the world is till dealing with today (conflict in the Middle East).
In contrast, the patriarch Job knew that God was sovereignly in control. “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). In his announcement to Mary about the birth of Jesus, the angel, Gabriel, described God as the one for whom nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37).
So, does God need my help? No. He is the almighty God. He is sovereignly in control.
Does God use my help? Yes. In the same way that God chose Moses to be the human deliverer of Israel during the Exodus, so God allows us to partner with him in his plans and purposes today.
He doesn’t need our help, but he gives us the privilege of being involved in his work.