Asaph would see Solomon become jaded in his later years. He would see the king become full of want and chase after life’s luxuries. He would see the king succumb to the desires of evil men, partner with them, take their daughters for wives, build his kingdom and fall into idolatry. He would see Solomon subject the Israelites to hard labor and heavy taxes so he could pay for his earthly extravagance.
Then he would see the circumstance of Solomon’s behavior. The nation of Israel splits. The northern kingdom, that of Israel under Jeroboam, reject the Temple and the Levites, along with the Law. The southern Kingdom, that of Judah, held to the Law and remained devoted to Rehoboam. But both nations departed from following Yahweh, ultimately. Asaph, a devout, and Godly man, had to live through these dark days, too.
He had to live through the assassination of his brother, Zechariah, whom he had hired to help him in his service to the king. Solomon’s agents murdered him for not keeping silent about the deeds of the king, who had become wicked, if even for a time. But it gets worse.
Egypt invades the land. They raze the nation and strip the Temple. Many of the priests were killed during this raid, along with the citizens, and the nation becomes a mockery to its many surrounding neighbors.
It is assumed that many of Asaph’s kin were victims in the overthrow, as they served in the Temple as doorkeepers and musicians, if nothing else. The nation of Israel was destroyed and the exquisite Temple that had taken so much time, thought and energy to construct was already in a heap of ruin.
After serving his kings with such loyalty, Asaph’s family and entire life was turned on its head under the hand of deception and violence.
During the end of David’s reign, the visions of the Christ that had been so clearly revealed to David began to smear and become blurry. He had insinuated that Solomon was the Messiah; Asaph had to put the record straight. He was not popular for doing so.
If you read his psalms begin with Psalm 50 and moving forward to Psalms 73-83, twelve in total, you will see that they all point to this. Because of these Psalms and knowing the history of what was happening during the days of Asaph, it is my belief that he indeed is the author and composer of the psalms. For these texts read of disturbances very great, of political upheaval and abuse. Look at the bitterness revealed in Psalm 73 regarding the assassination of Asaph’s brother, Zechariah.
We also get a glimpse at what was going on behind the scenes between the time of the Temple dedication and the end of the reign of King Solomon. While the glory of God was in the Temple, what was beginning to happen within the palace? In Psalms 75 and 82 we feel the disillusionment of Asaph with King Solomon and the identification that Solomon is not the Messiah. He was not the intended Prince of Peace.
Psalms 76 and 80 reflect the anguish Asaph was under as the nation was torn in two and divided while Psalms 74 and 79 reveal his distress as Shishak the Egyptian king invades and lays to waste God’s chosen ones.
Watch this space for Part 3…
Written by Jori Sams