Asaph

You know how it is when you have given yourself a goal and sticking to it drives you to distraction? Sometimes the end of the goal becomes more important that the goal itself. Bible reading can be that way. If your goal is to read the Bible through in a year-long plan, a person can become so goal-driven that the Bible reading itself becomes a chore instead of a delight.

If that is the case, it might be better to just read a portion without a schedule, but with a plan. When my children were in their growing-up years, it took me about 15 months to read through the Bible. Before I was married, I read it through in just a few months. I did stick with a plan rather than a schedule. This week in my Bible reading I noticed Psalms written by a man named Asaph. I’d never taken time to find more about him. I was surprised to find many references with his name in them! I and II Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah are sprinkled with history surrounding him.

Then, scooting down a rabbit trail, I also found that the three most used instruments in Tabernacle and Temple worship were Psaltery, Harp, and Cymbals. Asaph played the cymbals! My little rabbit trail led me to think these instruments through. The psaltery, I found was a boxed instrument much like we know a dulcimer to be. The harp, you know, and the cymbals. So, we had the melody from the psaltery, harmony from the harp, and rhythm from the cymbals.

Asaph was a Levite and he also trained his sons in musical worship as singers. He wrote Psalm 50, 73-83. If you look at the amount of content, you will find more written by him than several of the short books in the Bible (books such as Obadiah). Yet, if most people, church people—mind you—were asked what occupation Asaph filled, they would not know.

Is it important to do what God has put in your path? Of course it is. Can you stitch a stitch, wash a car, cut the grass, play a musical instrument, cook a meal, dry the tears of a child, inspire students, caress the hand of an elderly person, or lift your voice in song? Then do it with your might! Ecclesiastes 9:10 says “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do; do it with your might. . .” I found in research that Homer Rodeheaver was an exuberant song leader and often led audiences with his trombone. Billy Sunday and Homer Rodeheaver led mighty revivals across America in the early Twentieth Century and they were plain men who gave their hearts and talents to God.

Asaph lived approximately 950 years before the birth of Christ, penned might Psalms that display the works of God in the history of Israel, and yet his name is little-known. In the Presence of the Good Shepherd, work in the spirit and faithfulness of Asaph.

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3 Comments

  1. Glenda

    This is a very good lesson, both in history and in obedience. I have also read all the way through the Bible several times, and each time reveals some truths that I had not noticed before. The last time was in a study group led by our son, and I followed the plan he laid out for us. After completing that year-long study, I followed another plan the following year, but this year, I decided to take my time, and I’m learning much more this way. Some people become quite proud of their accomplishment, but to me, that is defeating the purpose of the reading! One thing Scripture teaches us is to avoid pride, and I really dislike those posts that say to “share if you’re proud to be a Christian.” To me, that is nothing for US to be proud of, since it is the Gift of a loving Savior, and nothing that we have earned.

    Well, I’m rambling now, so I’ll stop! Thank you for this good lesson today, Karyl! You are certainly using what God gave you to inspire and inform us! 🙂

    • Glenda, I never even gave it a thought that I was using a God-given gift when I write. It is certainly not me! Once in a while I compare myself to other bloggers and I wonder why anyone would bother with my little blather! I just want to make a small difference in many lives if God chooses to use me.

  2. Love this one, Karyl. It’s not blather, my friend. You speak from your heart, and your heart is God’s.

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