Andy Hollifield 5-4-18
Psalms 78:41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
Limit—–1) the final, utmost, or furthest boundary or point as to extent, continuance, procedure, etc… 2) VERB—to restrict by or as if establishing limits 3) to confine or keep within limits.
Unlimited—–1) not limited; unrestricted; unconfined. 2) boundless; infinite; vast 3) without any qualification or exception; unconditional
The word “limited” is used only once in the bible and it is this scripture in Psalms. It certainly does not apply to our God. By definition, it is impossible to limit God because there is nothing he cannot do except he cannot lie and he cannot fail. “Unlimited” however is a different case. It reads like a very accurate description of our God. If you read the 78th chapter of Psalms, you will find it is simply a historical account of the children of Israel. It is a detailed account of how greatly God blessed them and how quickly they would turn away from following him and deny that he had blessed them. In verse 19, they even spoke against God by asking, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? The children of Israel said that in a mocking way demonstrating their unbelief and angered the Lord. I want to declare to you that “YES” he can most definitely furnish a table in the wilderness. In verse 4 of Psalms 23, David talks about the Lord leading him through the valley of the shadow of death where God’s rod and staff comforted him. Then, as if it wasn’t enough that he was comforted in that scary place by the Lord. In verse 5, it says, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” It sounds to me like that God did far more than just furnished a table in the wilderness. David is likening us to sheep and the Lord to a good shepherd. The reason that a good shepherd anoints his sheep’s head with oil is so that he can sit and hold the sheep and pick off all the pest and parasites that are making the sheep’s life miserable and also to keep the sheep’s skin lubricated to keep it from drying, cracking, and itching. Let that sink in for a minute. In my mind, the best way for the shepherd to do this would be for him to sit down and pull the sheep up close to where he could maybe have it’s head in his lap where he could reach it. Just the thoughts of Jesus pulling us up close to him and our head be in his lap, maybe like John the beloved leaning of Jesus, is a picture of how much the good shepherd loves his sheep. Our cup runs over just because of his tender mercies. And where does he do all of this? Right in front of our enemies. He prepares us a picnic right there and it isn’t just a sandwich. You don’t need a table just for a sandwich. The bible also said in verse 5 that “thou preparest a table before me, in the presence of mine enemies.” Not while they are off somewhere else. He does it right while the enemy is trying to stare a whole through us. All of this not only in the wilderness, but with the enemy watching the whole thing. Yes, he can furnish a table in the wilderness.
How many times have we done the same thing and doubted and wondered where God was and why he didn’t do something? We limit him by thinking stuff like: “It is what it is” and “What will be will be.” Those statements aren’t anything but another way of saying “I have no faith and I don’t believe God can fix this one!” We limit him by not believing in him enough to “pray without ceasing.” The same thing Israel was doing when they said, “There are giants in the land and we are as grasshoppers in their sight.” That isn’t quoting exactly but you get the point. There is only one way that goodness and mercy can follow you, you have got to be moving. Goodness and mercy can’t follow if we aren’t walking with the Lord.
I don’t mean to over-simplify your situation but at the same time you can’t underestimate my God. He “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. (Ephesians 3:20). If the Lord isn’t working in your life like you think he ought to be, maybe it is because of a power failure in your life. The Lord is able to do all of these things just according to the power that worketh in us. If we aren’t close enough to him to have power, we are limiting him and he can’t do a lot to help us. Whatever you are facing, just ask the Lord to help your unbelief just like the dad in Mark 9:24. Cast all your care on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). I hope this will help you to not limit the Lord and allow him to help you. He is after all; unlimited in power, love, and mercy. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 5-4-18