October 12, 2020
By Editorial Team
Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire (ruins of a 12th century Augustinian monastery)
“O God, why have you cast us off forever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture? Remember your Congregation, which you have Purchased of old, The tribe of your inheritance, which you have Redeemed — This Mount Zion where you have dwelt. Lift up Your feet unto the perpetual desolations. Even all that the enemy has done wickedly in the Sanctuary. 4 Your enemies roar in the midst of your Congregations. They set up their (evil) banners for signs” Psalm 74: 1-4. A Psalm of Asaph
“The Church of God which He has Purchased with His own blood” Acts 20:28
“All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Asaph the Prophet, saying: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world”” Matt. 13:35 quoting Psalm 78:1,2
Asaph was one of the three Worship Leaders in David’s time. He was a teenager/in 20’s when he started playing music in Church and then continued into his 90’s. He played and lived under David, Solomon, and possibly Rehoboam. He saw the Church in its prime under David, then saw the decline under Solomon because of pagan wives and the harem. Then came Rehoboam with his recklessness and youthful bravado which resulted in the split in the Kingdom, Northern part (10 tribes of Israel) going to Jeroboam, and Judah (2 tribes) remaining with David’s sons.
As a young man, he saw God’s Presence and Glory in David’s time. And when the Temple was dedicated under Solomon, it was Asaph who led Worship and saw God’s Glory. From then on it was a continual decline, thanks to a womanizing Solomon, and further apostasy under Rehoboam. So, God gives Israel over to their enemies, then Shishak King of Egypt, invades Jerusalem and plunders the treasures in the Temple. It broke Asaph’s heart to see such a fall, yet Asaph strengthens himself in Christ. (Psalm 77:10-14), expecting God to turn things around.
Asaph wrote 12 Psalms, (Ps 50, Ps 73-83), he also obviously composed music for dozens of David’s Psalms as a Chief Musician. He wrote more scripture than Peter, Jude, James, Joel, Amos, Habakkuk etc. Alas, how little we know of him! Gospel writer Mathew writing for us the various Parables of Jesus, says in conclusion that this was a fulfilment of what Asaph spoke about the Messiah. Have you ever wondered who this man was, his background, his lineage of musicians across the years and his contribution to the Church and the Kingdom?
Today the Church is in a similar state of ruin. In my entire life, I have not seen the Church in a weaker state than today. Compared to the meaty sermons from the entire Bible as a teenager and even 20 years ago, today we live on nothing. Our Churches take pride in multi-media, daily devotionals, streaming services, and thousands of page views. Make no mistake – thousand page views of nothing is still nothing.
Today, nobody reads the Full Bible (Genesis-Revelation). Pastors preach 10% of the Bible, and prophets who read 25 chapters, start prophesying, this is the pathetic state of the Church. Christians are irrelevant and powerless in society, Evil has swamped nations. There is no presence of God in our Churches, and there is no Revival, let’s be honest about it. It’s time for us to repent and get back to reading the Bible voraciously and knowing what our God is all about. We read our literature textbooks, Software programs and Management PPTs meticulously. But when it comes to the Bible, we skim through it, and it doesn’t prick at all.
Holy Spirit convict us to begin reading our Bibles seriously – cover to cover.
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