A Musician’s Legacy

Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. Psalm 77:13-14

Asaph was appointed by the Levites to serve as a temple musician—“to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments”(1 Chronicles 15:16-17). In 1 Chronicles 16:5 we learn that Asaph served as the chief of the musicians, or the minister of music, during King David’s reign.

Twelve psalms are attributed specifically to Asaph, Psalm 50 and Psalms 73-83. They reveal that Asaph was a godly man—one who served God faithfully, abhorred injustice, and encouraged others to keep their eyes fixed on the steadfast love of the LORD. In these psalms, Asaph affirmed God’s sovereignty, goodness, and power. He also spoke honestly about his own confusion and frustration during difficult times.

Asaph wrote one of my favorite verses in the psalter, Psalm 73:26—“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  So much in life befuddles me. Like Asaph I see “the prosperity of the wicked,” and I wonder why God doesn’t “do something” about it (73:3). And like Asaph I sometimes think, “Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence” (73:13).

But each time Asaph struggled, he returned to the truth that the Sovereign LORD was his refuge in the midst of all life’s swirling adversities (73:28). He clung to God’s rock solid faithfulness: “it is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another” (75:7).  And it is God who promised, “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it” (81:10).

Are you feeling overwhelmed this week? Does it seem like the bad guys always win and the good guys always lose? Are you questioning God’s goodness or His faithfulness? Take a faith walk through Asaph’s psalms. Breathe in the freshness of his spiritual discernment. And let God restore your soul with His truth.


2 Chronicles 29:30 reveals that in Hezekiah’s time Asaph was considered a “seer” (about 300 years after David’s reign ended). Read Psalm 80 and 82. Why do you think later generations considered Asaph a prophet?

Asaph reviewed Israel’s history in Psalm 78. How did he describe God’s character? How did he describe the behavior of God’s people? What does the contrast between God and His people teach us?

Read Psalm 75.  Why was Asaph giving thanks to God? What filled his heart with hope?

Denise K. Loock

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