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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 LEB
In my trouble I called on Yahweh, and to my God I cried for help. He heard my voice from his temple, and my cry for help came up before his presence 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 LEB
Therefore let us approach with confidence to the throne of grace, in order 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 LEB
God is our refuge and strength, a very sufficient help in troubles.
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God can help those who depend on him

Hebrews 13:6 LEB
So then, we can say with confidence, “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 LEB
Therefore if you, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father from heaven 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 LEB
Listen to the sound of my pleading, 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 LEB
And now why do you go the way of Egypt to drink the waters of the Shihor? And why do you go the way of Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates?
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Dependence on false gods and religions

Psalm 40:4 LEB
Blessed is the man who makes Yahweh his trust and does not turn to the proud and to those who fall away to a lie.
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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 LEB
Carry the burdens of one another, and so 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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