Well, I’m up to Ezra in my chronological read of the Bible – the Jewish people, still mostly in exile or scattered, were now under the control of King Cyrus of Persia who overthrew Babylon. Cyrus lets the people go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and the temple. The Spirit stirred in the hearts of those to go and rebuild (Ezra 1:5) – about 42,000 of them…included in that lot were the sons of Asaph. Hold on to his name, we’ll get back to him in a second.
The first thing they do is rebuild the altar and offered sacrifices to the Lord (Ezra 3:3) — they consecrated themselves — then they started to rebuild. After they laid the foundation they paused, to worship. (3:10)
10And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD,(A) according to the directions of David king of Israel. 11And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD,
(B) “For he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.”And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
The foundation had only been built and they are worshiping! I found this pic on the web, and I’ll bet Asaph IV the worship leader is probably leading them in the 9th chorus of “Forever”! Worship has been restored to Jerusalem! But another thing that jumped out at me is the sons of Asaph were there. At WorshipGod09, the theme was “From Generation to Generation” and Bob K pointed out that we must be intentional in passing on the deeds, mights, wonders, and works of the Lord. The ultimate way God manifested himself in all of this is the Gospel – the Cross of His Son Jesus!
…but back to our friend Asaph. He first appears in 1 Chron 15:19 as a cymbal player – close to 500 years BEFORE the rebuilding effort in Ezra. He was faithful then, he became promoted to chief musician (1 Chron 16:15) and his legacy is still around 500 years later. That’s amazing to me.
Am I doing that?
I’ll admit…I stink at long range planning. I’m a really great short term planner – I can plan a day down to the minute. I’m a mediocre mid range planner – perhaps a few months…sometimes now as I get older I even think a year ahead, but for long range planning – I stink. I need to think more about my children’s future, and (gasp), THEIR children. That’s pretty hard for me when they are 12 and 9 right now, but I’ll bet Asaph was thinking that far ahead and imparting to them the legacy of the works of God.
Are we being intentional in pursuing our children and the younger generation? Not sure about you, but I need to do better…
4“Hear, O Israel:(A) The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5You(B) shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And(C) these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7(D) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8(E) You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9(F) You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.