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Monday, February 2 2015

Psalm 73: The Songs Of Asaph

"So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass"

The service of the Levites (see the Fact Finder question below) in Jerusalem was facilitated by King David when he had the Ark of the Covenant brought into the city for the first time (see The Ark's Arrival In Zion and Kings David's Psalm Of The Ark).

The original portable Tabernacle (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Tabernacle) had been by then retired at Shiloh after the Ark was parted from it (see The Parting of The Ark and The Tabernacle), while the new Temple in Jerusalem had not yet been constructed (see Solomon's Temple Address), so David "prepared a place for the Ark of God, and pitched for it a tent." (see David's House Of Cedars and The LORD's Tabernacle).

Levites

"15:1 And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent. 15:2 Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.

15:3 And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD unto his place, which he had prepared for it. 15:4 And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:

15:5 Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twenty: 15:6 Of the sons of Merari; Asaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred and twenty: 15:7 Of the sons of Gershom; Joel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and thirty: 15:8 Of the sons of Elizaphan; Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred: 15:9 Of the sons of Hebron; Eliel the chief, and his brethren fourscore: 15:10 Of the sons of Uzziel; Amminadab the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twelve.

15:11 And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab, 15:12 And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it. 15:13 For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order. 15:14 So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel. 15:15 And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD." (1 Chronicles 15:1-15 KJV)

Asaph, the son of Berechiah, was one of the Levites (see The Levite Clans) who were chosen to be singers (verses 17 and 19 below). His election (not self-appointment) is itself evidence that he was a very good singer. As we will read, Asaph, by means of the Holy Spirit, also became a very good composer of Psalms.

"15:16 And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.

15:17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah; 15:18 And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, the porters.

15:19 So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass; 15:20 And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth; 15:21 And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel. 15:22 And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.

15:23 And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark. 15:24 And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obededom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark." (1 Chronicles 15:16-24 KJV)

Asaph became the composer of twelve of the Psalms (50 and 73 to 82). The Seventy-third Psalm is a song of a humble, repentant man who had found the Way to the LORD.

"73:1 A Psalm of Asaph.

Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

73:4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. 73:5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. 73:6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. 73:7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. 73:8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. 73:9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. 73:10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. 73:11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?

73:12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

73:13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. 73:14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

73:15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. 73:16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; 73:17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

73:18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. 73:19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. 73:20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.

73:21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. 73:22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

73:23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. 73:24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

73:27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. 73:28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works." (Psalm 73:1-28 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) When did the LORD set apart the Levites for service to Him? (b) Who was the Levite that the Messiah described as the greatest prophet, apart from Himself?
(a) See When Were The Levites Set Apart? and The Levites Of Christ
(b) Luke 7:28 and see The Ministries Of The Two Greatest Prophets; see also What Did John The Baptist's Father Do At The Temple?


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This Day In History, February 2

506: Alaric II, king of the Visigoths (a Germanic people), proclaimed the Breviary of Alaric (Breviarium Alaricianum or Lex Romana Visigothorum), a collection of "Roman law" for the Germanic Empire

Otto I Crown 962: Pope John XII crowned Otto I as the "Holy Roman Emperor" (see Emperors and Popes). When Otto succeeded his father Heinrich (Henry) as German king in 936, the people raised their right hand to show approval and shouted "Sieg und heil" ("victory and salvation") - words revived by Adolf Hitler almost 1,000 years later (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion). Later historians would view 962 as the beginning of what would later be officially called the Sacrum Romanum Imperium Nationis Germanica ("The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation"; see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation). The octagonal imperial crown of the "Holy Roman Empire," which was made especially for the coronation of Otto, was the symbol of European unity for centuries afterward. Otto von Habsburg (whose ancestors were some of the "Holy Roman" emperors) called attention to the potential present and future role of that very same crown, which now sits in the Schatzkammer (Royal Treasury) in Vienna, Austria.

1461: The Lancastrians (founded by the son of Henry III, the Earl of Lancaster in 1267) defeated the Yorkists (founded by another son of Henry III, the duke of York) at the second Battle of St. Albans'.

1494: Christopher Columbus began using "Indians" as slaves i.e. native Americans were the first slaves of the "New" World (see Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).

1509: The Portuguese, led by Francisco de Almeida, destroyed the Muslim fleet in the Battle of Diu, establishing Portuguese control of Indian waters.

1536: Spanish explorer Pedro de Mendoza founded Buenos Aires.

1556: The world's worst earthquake on record, in China's Shaanxi, Shansi and Henan provinces, killed an estimated 830,000 people.

1626: Charles I, the son and successor of James I (after whom the King James Version of the Bible was named), was crowned king of England.

1653: The Dutch established New Amsterdam as a city. After the British took over the colonies that became known as New England, the city was renamed as New York.

1709: British sailor Alexander Selkirk was rescued after being marooned on a desert island for 5 years. His story was the inspiration of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.

1808: French forces under Napoleon occupied Rome. Pope Pius VII was arrested and held in custody.

1848: The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo ended the war between the U.S. and Mexico.

1901: The Funeral of Queen Victoria.

1916: The U.S. Senate granted independence for the Philippines.

1945: During the Second World War, 1,200 British Royal Air Force planes bombed Wiesbaden and Karlsruhe in Germany.

1972: The British Embassy in Dublin was burned down after a day of anti-British demonstrations.

1983: The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) resumed in Geneva.

1989: Soviet invasion forces completed their withdrawal from Kabul, Afghanistan.



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