It is incredibly shortsighted for a man who has been a pastor for decades to not recognize that people die, that people are born blind for God’s glory, that people try to force God’s hand, and people openly oppose God without affecting God’s manifold wisdom and greatness.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”Romans 11:33, NASB
Limits, freedom, and absolutism have no comfortable human oasis, because the mystery of Christian faith revolves around the Infinite God clothing himself with finite humanity, all the way to death as a criminal. They have found a hotel in the triumphalism of the evangelical world. Let us be honest about the fact that “all things are possible”, “what government can achieve”, and “what God can do” are the engines of authentic faith in much of North America. One is consequently led to consider that God has no sovereign will and that he can be thwarted, while believers with the right stuff can have a “life without limits”. I suppose the narratives of patriarchal fellowship with God have nothing to do with human beings like Abraham and Joseph whose lives and expectations could not be more expressive of heads and tails. It is easy to forget that the first man did his own thing with massive effect on all humans, and we raise our hands in praise that God had a plan to deal with his rebellion instead of pointing the finger at Adam and Eve. Psalm 78:41 is a unique piece of songwriting and using it to sell a book about people limiting God is defiling, dangerous, and probably an important part of the demonic doctrine strategy.
I recently heard an American marketer named Wommack on television delivering a spiel about limiting God. On the route to selling a book or some other useless trinkets the blind guide ripped up God’s sovereignty by consulting a dictionary to define it, painted himself as a witness to a resurrection from the dead in his family (an event for which there was no evidence), and provided yet another face in the line up of tricksters feeding off of gullible people.
It was clear from the beginning that here was another 20 minutes of utter blah, blah, bull. If Wommack wanted to know what the once-used term tawah meant he could have consulted a lexicon of Hebrew words, and after finding that it is not found elsewhere he could have turned to the Bible with which the Lord Christ was familiar, the Septuagint. He would have seen that “limit” is not what tawah means.
Sorry, sisters and brothers! There is no formula. God lets his friends die, and lets enemies live. That is what sovereignty looks like.
The term in Psalm 78:41 translated as tempted (KJV), offended (NET) is a hapax legomenon. It appears once in Scripture. The Jewish people reading the Septuagint would have known that the context of the story told in Psalm 78:41 and 56 is about unbelief and God’s grief. Let it be absolutely clear that The Exodus as a narrative must include the fact that the generation that departed Egypt died in the wilderness. Therefore what the people did to God in that entire episode was to grieve God, test God, showed him their unbelief and complaining (Exodus 16:7, 8, 9, 17:3, 7, Numbers 14:2, 29, Deuteronomy 1:27, 6:16, 9:7, 8, 22). Pardon me, Mr Wommack and followers. No one limits God, and anyone who tries that will find himself (a) in close contact with God’s goads, like Saul of Tarsus, and (b) hopefully a vessel that serves the Sovereign Lord.
“καὶ ἐπέστρεψαν καὶ ἐπείρασαν τὸν θεὸν καὶ τὸν ἅγιον τοῦ Ισραηλ παρώξυναν.” [from paroxuno, I irritate, I provoke]Psalm 78:41 LXX
Paroxuno appears in Hosea 8:5 and Zechariah 10:3 with reference to divine anger being aroused. There is no basis for “limit”. God’s sovereignty is also not limited by human resistance and to suggest it is to show that our salvation is not, in our elevated view of ourselves, God’s sovereign act.
Regarding Yahweh’s assertion of owner’s right let Scripture speak to the issue of whether God can be limited. Let’s face facts: Adam walked into death and God covered him. Is not the Pharaoh of the Exodus – a type of the Evil One – an example of how human willpower when exercised against God’s intervention is a scrawny feather in the wind? So who do we charge with limiting God when every descendant of Adam resists God’s will and are subject to his control of the faucet of mercy.
15) For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16) So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17) For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” 18) So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19) You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20) On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?” (Romans 9:15-20, NASB)