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Reliance upon God or upon others. Dependence on God for help with spiritual and physical needs arises out of an awareness of human helplessness, though dependence may be wrongly directed. People may look to others for encouragement and support, but over-dependence is not commended.

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Dependence arising from a sense of helplessness

Physical helplessness

Psalm 18:6 NASB95
In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.
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Spiritual helplessness

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Dependence on God encouraged

God is to be trusted

Hebrews 4:16 NASB95
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
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God is a refuge

Psalm 46:1 NASB95
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
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God can help those who depend on him

Hebrews 13:6 NASB95
so that we confidently say, The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”
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God will help those who depend on him

Luke 11:13 NASB95
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
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Examples of failure to depend on God

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Dependence on God for physical help

Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah.
See also Hezekiah; the men of Judah


David; two blind men; Mary; Paul

Dependence on God for spiritual needs

Childlike dependence is necessary for those who would enter God’s kingdom;
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Dependence on God expressed in prayer

Psalm 5:2 NASB95
Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, For to You I pray.
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Examples of those crying out in dependence on God

the Israelites in Egypt; Job in his suffering; the people of Jerusalem; Jeremiah; Jonah from within the fish; the tax collector in the temple; the church praying for Peter; the Corinthians praying for Paul

Misplaced dependence

Dependence on surrounding nations

Jeremiah 2:18 NASB95
“But now what are you doing on the road to Egypt, To drink the waters of the Nile? Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria, To drink the waters of the Euphrates?
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Dependence on false gods and religions

Psalm 40:4 NASB95
How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
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Dependence on human strength and resources

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Dependence on sinful behaviour


The futility of misplaced dependence

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A proper dependence on others is commended

Human help can strengthen

Galatians 6:2 NASB95
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
See also

Examples of a right dependence on others

a priest’s support for an unmarried sister

Support for the poor and needy:

Achish found David to be a reliable soldier; Uriah and Zechariah were reliable witnesses; Reliable teachers are a blessing to the church.
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