They Limited the Holy One of Israel

Audio of “They Limited the Holy One of Israel” (2 min, 33 sec)

Psalm 78:41-42 says:

They tested God again and again
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember his power
or the day when he redeemed them from the foe (ESV)

Where the ESV says, “provoked,” the NKJV says, “limited.” The word used literally means, “to wound” (see STEP – Psalm 78).

But how did they provoke/limit/wound their Maker?

Simply this:

  1. They forgot His power

Specifically, they forgot what He had done for them, and for their fathers, and those before them. Somewhere along the line they had stopped passing on the testimonies of God’s power. Or they did pass them on, but it seemed so distant compared to their current struggles.

Can you relate? I can.

God remedied this by telling again of what He had done in Egypt, and what He did after that (see Psalm 78:41-55). God has retold this story numerous times throughout the Bible by now. But it was worth telling again.

How can we ensure we don’t provoke/limit/wound God in a similar way?


  • Open up the Bible to read about who God is and what He’s done
  • Tell others what the Bible reveals about this God we serve
  • Recount, record, and share testimonies of God’s mighty hand in times past of your life

The trick is getting these things deep in us to the point that when we are in our own desert, far away from the land of God’s overt miracles, thirsty and hungry and hot and tired and smelly…that in that place we will look past current experience to what we’ve known to be true of God all along.

Thanks be to God,


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