41Again and again they tempted God,
And pained the Holy One of Israel.
41Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
Is the Christian experience one of rejoicing, love, hope, and assurance of faith? Is that life marked by delight in God’s commands and promises? While God has promised great joy and hope to believers, Christians often follow the way of the Israelites when they doubt, complain, and live in a constant state of uncertainty. In this sermon on Psalm 78:41 titled “Limiting God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches that when the Christian follows this way, they limit God’s power, grace, and glory rather than showcasing His excellencies to the world. Complaining and heavy hearts declare to the world that the way of God is cumbersome and sorrowful. It says the commands of God are difficult and God is not concerned with the Christian’s joy. Follow along with Dr. Lloyd-Jones as he provides the “tests” of assurance, joy, delight, and peace to evaluate hearts in light of the life-giving promises of the Holy God. Listen and be reminded that God provides great joy that cannot be shaken to the believer who earnestly seeks the presence of the Triune God as their source of delight and life. Take comfort in knowing that an assurance of salvation is given as a means of joy and comfort for the believer and be challenged by Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s reminder that the believer who does not hold fast to these promises is limiting the Holy One of Israel.
- The psalmist is reviewing the history of Israel and their relationship with God.
- The psalmist points out that Israel limited God in their unbelief and failure to receive His promises.
- Christians today should examine themselves to see if they are limiting God.
- The standard for judgment is found in God's Word and the history of the church.
- Assurance of salvation and knowing God intimately should be normal for Christians. If lacking, we limit God.
- Rejoicing and delighting in God and His commands should characterize Christians. If lacking, we limit God.
- Enjoying God's peace and resting in His sufficiency should be the experience of Christians. If lacking, we limit God.
- Causes of limiting God include: sin, self-satisfaction, ignorance of Scripture/history, unbelief, wrong beliefs, fear.
- We must realize the enormity of limiting God, the harm done, and our own folly. We must repent.
- We must open our mouths wide to receive from God. We must ask and expect great things from God.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.