By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
The Bible is full of gems. One of those is Asaph, who was of the tribe of Levi. He was appointed by King David to be a musical leader of his people.
I Chronicles 15;16, “David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brethren as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals to raise sounds of joy. So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren Asaph the son of Berechiah;”
I Chronicles 15:19, The singers Heman, Asaph, and Ethan are to sound bronze cymbals;”
I Chronicles 16:4-7, “Moreover [David] appointed certain of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the Lord to invoke, to thank, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel. Asaph was the chief,… Asaph was to sound the cymbals and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow trumpets continually, before the ark of the covenant of God. Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the Lord by Asaph and his brethren”
Asaph was a musician, a poet, and the author of many Psalms inspired by the Holy Spirit. His first Psalm is number 50. His Psalms then continue in Book III. Psalms 73 to 83. These are surely wonderful Psalms. They speak a great deal of our lives today. I encourage you to read and to re-read them. You will find blessing and encouragement.
“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” (70:14,15)
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (73:26)
“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my strength and my refuge, that I may tell of all thy works.” (73:28)
“I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; yea, I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate on all thy work, and muse on thy mighty deeds.” (73:11,12)
“Pour out thy anger on the nations that do not know thee, and on the kingdoms that do not call on thy name!” (79:6)
“Restore us, O God; let thy face shine, that we may be saved.” (80:3)
“But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would have none of me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. (81:11.12)
“I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you” (81:16)
“so do thou pursue them with thy tempest and terrify them with thy hurricane!” (80:15)
“Let them know that thou alone, whose name is the Lord, art the most high over all the earth.” (83:18)
These passages were written in the days of David (1040-970 BC). We see how consistent God is in all of his teachings, reminding us of his greatness and glory, and inviting us to believe in him, and to be faithful to him. Alas, those who turn their backs on him shall perish. We add these passages from the Old Testament, recognizing their harmony with what we read in the New Testament. We are reminded that God loves us; that he calls us to trust in him, and we shall belong to him forever.