Today’s Psalm was written by one of the four Levites King David had put in charge of the worship music.
As soon as the ark was brought back to Jerusalem, and replaced in the tabernacle, David wanted regular times of worship with a full orchestra and choir. Asaph was one of the Levites put in charge of the instruments. But, it turns out, he was truly gifted at song writing, too.
In this Psalm, Asaph talked about his feelings about his own position in life, as a Levite, and the way he perceived some of the people he associated with in King David’s court.
We need to read these song lyrics with feeling, and with imagery, to help us experience what Asaph was trying to convey. As we read through his lyrics, listen to what he’s hanging onto as true, but just doesn’t feel true in the moment. Listen to his impressions of what court life was like.
Asaph could not understand how these people could be so bad and look so good, how God would grant them so many material blessings when they obviously were cheaters and crooks, master manipulators, arrogant, malicious, and contemptuous.
Yet, they prospered.
He, on the other hand, was a Levite. He led worship every week, he devoted himself to the study of God’s word, keeping God’s law, and tending to God’s tabernacle. But, he was not prospering, at least not in terms of wealth and influence. The wicked had plenty to eat—more than enough. I wonder if Asaph felt hungry in comparison.
God met Asaph where he was, and opened his inner vision to a revelation he hadn’t quite grasped yet. On the outside, these rich and conceited courtiers seemed to have it all. But on the inside they were headed for ruin.