When is the last time you heard a sermon preached by the choir in your church? Or by the Choir Director? That’s the job David assigned to Asaph, the worship leader of the temple, and to his descendants. They were to lead the people in singing and music, but their ministry was also considered prophecy… their words were considered to be special messages from God.
Asaph was first assigned his new job as worship leader when David was organizing he worship at the new temple to be built by his son, Solomon. Asaph and his descendants performed their new roles well, and the temple was filled with the glory of the Lord (2Chron. 5:12-14). Over the years that followed, many of the songs Asaph and his descendants wrote were included in the book of Psalms.
Next to David, Asaph wrote more psalms than any other author.
Asaph would become the father of several generations of worship leaders.
Their words continued to be regarded as specials messages from God, as evidenced during the reign of King Jehoshaphat. At that time, a coalition of Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites were threatening to attack Jerusalem, and a descendant of Asaph named Jahaziel even prophesied that the enemy coalition would be at a certain place the next day and that Jehoshaphat and his men should stand firm against them. As a result, Jehoshaphat was moved to worship the Lord, and they experienced a great victory (2Chron. 20:15-18).
A look at Asaph’s writings shows us how seriously he took the task of worshiping God. His powerful psalms remind his readers of God’s majesty and faithfulness… of His mercy and patience. They also remind us of our total dependence on God. Asaph tells us God can be counted on to rescue and uphold His people.
Studying the works of Asaph and other psalmists takes us into the heart of worship. We need the daily reminder and refreshment of these words to bring perspective into our hurried lives… to remind us we are meant to worship and love God with all of who we are. Meditate on these psalms as often as you can.
* The Lord makes us strong. Sing praises to Him!
You can read Asaph’s story in 1Chronicles 15:19; 16:5,7,37; 25:1,6; 2Chronicles 5:12; 20:14; Psalms 50; 73-83.