“Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are of a clean heart.” (Ps. 73:1)
This is the first Psalm writing that is attributed to this man called Asaph. Many scholarly and learned men have taken the liberty of dividing the collection of writings called Psalms into separate books asserting various and sundry reasons for the distinctions but there can be no question about the author. If the Spirit of the Most High God did not inspire these men to write the appropriate words to accurately depict the intention of God then these, and all other writings, are worthless. The Spirit of God inspired these men to speak the Word of God and to record those things which were necessary. These servants of the God were carried by the Spirit in the same manner as Ezekiel records numerous times and brought into the proper frame of mind to receive that which was afore prepared for them. They were then given the words to speak in the appointed time to those for whom it was intended, made willing in the power of the Lord and spoke as they were commanded by the Spirit who caused them to walk in the Holy statutes and commandments of God. Yet each of these men were specifically prepared during the time of their habitations to perform their assigned labours and neither could do the others work.
Asaph was a son of Levi. This entire tribe of the sons of Jacob was prevented from having any inheritance in the land of Promise because they were consecrated unto Him. They were set apart for the service of the Tabernacle in the wilderness (Num. 3:6) and were not numbered with the children of the house of Israel. They were given a tenth of all the other tribes as payment for their service in the Tabernacle (18:21) and were encamped around the Tabernacle day and night (1:53). None but the house of those joined unto Yehovah (Levi) were permitted to labour in the work of the sanctuary and they received no part nor inheritance among the children of Israel (Deut. 10:9); “And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near, for them Yehovah God has chosen to minister unto Him and to bless the name of Yehovah and by their word every controversy and every stroke be” (21:5). God further instructed Moses and Aaron to set the courses of the sons of Aaron in the work of the ministry so that each and every son of Levi knew his labours.
“And has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever” (Rev. 1:6)
Asaph (the gatherer) was assigned a course by King David after the Ark had rest. After the Beloved had put his enemies under His feet and recovered the Witness of the covenant of mercy from the Philistines (immigrant strangers) he set in order those things which the Spirit instructed him to be necessary to the proper function of the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. He reckoned the lineage to insure that those employed in the labours were indeed qualified and certified to do the work; thus of the sons of Levi were found Itzhar (shinning oil or anointed) the son of Kohath (assembly) and his brother Asaph, who stood on the right hand. These were established and stationed to maintain the service of song in the house of Yehovah. They were instructed to “prophesy (speak under the influence of the Spirit) with the harps, with psalteries and with cymbals” (25:1) as long as the house of Yehovah stood and the testimony continued.
Asaph, who was the son of ‘he who is blessed of Yehovah’ (Berachiah), stood at the right hand, a place of authority and strength, as he ministered in song before the testimony. Here he stands as the type of Messiah and his brethren for only those who have ears to hear and have ‘heard’ (Shimei) from ‘he who is like God’ (Michael) in the ‘service of Yah’ (Baaseiah) were qualified to stand before the Ark because ‘my King is Yah’ (Malachiah) has ‘hired me’ (Ethni). It is because Yehovah God has ‘adorned himself’ (Adaiah) and has ‘risen up’ (Zerah) that the ‘enduring strength’ (Ethan) and the ‘purposed thoughts’ (Zimmah) of God are ‘renowned of heard’ (Shimei) for He is the Word of God which became flesh and dwelt among man. He alone ‘unites’ (Jahath) His people in Himself for He has ‘driven out’ (Gershom) the inhabitants of the land and given Himself as the inheritance of all those ‘joined’ unto Him. (I Chron. 6:39-43).
“And their brothers, heads of the house of their fathers, a thousand and seven hundred and three score; very able men for the work of the service in the house of God” (I Chr. 9:13).
Yehovah God did not instruct David to leave inept fools in charge of the types and foreshadows of the patterns given in the mount. In the same manner as He did with those who assembled the Tabernacle in the wilderness, so the good pleasure of the Will of God properly prepared each and every one of these men, commensurate to the labours of the courses they were assigned. After the flesh, many of these demonstrated their inherent incompetence and gross inabilities in the lack obedience to the commandments of God yet they walked according to the path assigned of God as they kept the course they were assigned. The result of this is the ability of man to teach his traditions as the commandments of God by attempting to live in the types and foreshadows, which could never “purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Heb. 9:14).
But as these Levite priests and brothers to the ‘Gatherer’ represent the children of the kingdom of our God, they have been enabled, by the indwelling Spirit, with all things necessary for the work of the service in the house of God, which is His body (John 2:21). They are His workmanship and their labours are wherein they have been created in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah; it is a good work, “which God has before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). This is the Work which He has begun in His children and which He performs “until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).
These chief men of honour which live in the service of the Tabernacle of Yehovah have the ‘memorial’ (Zichri) of ‘he who is like God’ (Micah). They have been ‘influenced’ and ‘caused’ (Gaalal) to perform of these duties by the ‘gift of Yah’ (Mattaniah) and are as proficient as ‘craftsmen who speak by their works’ (Cheresh) as ‘seekers’ and ‘inquirers’ (Bakbakkar) after the kingdom of God (9:14f).
These were all born into the family of the ‘joined’ (Levi) which was consecrated unto Yehovah God. They had no choice. They were raised living by the fruits of the occupations and lived where God directed them to dwell. They had their station in life, as it was assigned by the Beloved when He subdued the enemies of the kingdom and the Ark had rest, before they were ever born. These brethren of the ‘Gatherer’ (Asaph) as they were ‘blessed of Yah’ (Berechiah) were in charge of making a loud exalted shout of rejoicing before the house of God by the use of harps, psalteries on Alamoth and cymbals. The plucking of the strings (harps) stood for the reverberation of all things as they worked together as God has ordained. This is why John saw the manifestation of the glory of God depicted as the four creatures and the twenty four elders “having every one of them harps” (Rev. 5:8). These all sang a new song which Adam could not learn nor was he capable of singing. They proclaimed the worthiness of the Lamb of God, which “was slain and has redeemed them by His blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation and has made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign on the earth” (9). These harpers harped the voice of God as they sang this new song before the throne and before the creatures and the elders (Rev. 14:2) for they are the sheep of His pasture. They know and hear His voice and follow the Shepherd alone; another’s voice they shall not hear but shall flee from him (John 10:3ff). They have all gotten the victory over the beast and over his image and over his number “and they sing the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are you works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are your ways, King of the saints” (Rev. 15:2f).
The psalteries of Alamoth are virgin bags of skin that have never been used for any other purpose. They are the skins of the sacrificed animals which were filled with air and then squeezed to release the air and cause a sound. These represent both the earthen vessels which God has afore prepared unto His glory and those He has outfitted for destruction. He breathes into these vessels, formed from the dust of the earth, and makes them a living souls (Gen. 2:7) as He has assigned the time of their habitations and the boundaries thereof. He alone causes them to give forth the sound He needs for the performance of His creation. He prepares their hearts and gives them a voice as the answer of the tongue (Pro. 16:1). He turns the hearts of the rulers as the rivers of waters to do His pleasure (Pro. 21:1) and He has “put in their hearts to fulfill His will and to agree and give their kingdoms unto the beasts until the Word of God shall be fulfilled” (Rev. 17:17). In the service of the Tabernacle of the house of God which is His body, He has given gifts to each of the members which are for His praise and the edification of the body. No one speaks of his own accord, none seek the preeminence and they all love each other as they love their own bodies. Thus are they able men for the work of the service of the house of God.
The cymbals represent the enclosed nature of God and His creation. There is no beginning but in Him and as He is the wheel in the midst of the wheel, so all His works revolve round and round. The whole of creation is “full of labour, man cannot utter it the eye is not satisfied with seeing nor the ear with hearing. The things that have been, it is that which shall be and that which is done is that which shall be done and there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecc. 1:8). This creation, the heavens and the firmament, declare the glory of the Lord and the tinkling or crashing of the cymbal demonstrate the power and majesty of the sovereign God over all His creations.
“Then on that day, David first gave the casting forth of loud shout of praise unto Yehovah by the hand of Asaph and his brethren” (I Chr. 16:7).
The Beloved, who came forth to do the will of He that sent Him, performed all unto the praise of the Father. He who scattered His people into all the nations of the world was the same who promised that He would gather them back together again and keep them as the Shepherd of His flock (Jer. 31:10). David, the Beloved, is that Shepherd who has been set up over His sheep to lead them, guide them and feed them all their way (Ezek. 34:23). The casting forth of the loud shout of praise unto our God is that head stone which was cut out without hands and has crushed the enemies of God. He alone has gathered His people together in Him as the two sticks joined together as one. The house of praise (Judah) and the house of ‘he who endures with God’ (Israel) are one. He has brought them into their own land and has made one nation of them in the exalted place (mountains) of Israel for He has been lifted up. These cannot defile themselves, they have not been defiled with women and none shall ever defile them “with their detestable things, nor with any transgression; but I will deliver them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people and I will be their God. And David My servant king over them and they shall have one Shepherd. They shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes and do them” (Ezek. 37:20ff).
The Beloved and the Gatherer are one. The children of the Beloved and the children of the Gatherer are the sons of God. These have the right by birth, the portion by inheritance and the memorial in The Lamb who stands as He has been slain from the foundation of the world. Together these brethren, heirs of God and joint heirs in the Anointed, sing the songs of Moses, the songs of deliverance; “speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:19).
This is a spiritual matter which Adam has no part in for the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit neither can he know them, for they are foolishness to him (I Cor. 2:14). This is the true worship of God which must be in Spirit and in truth of which Adam has no portion since all men are liars (Ps. 116:11) and this is the memorial of the Word of God which dwells, in full abundance, in the children of grace; “in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16).
And so when the Beloved Himself, brought the testimony of the shed blood of the Lamb of God, the completely and perfectly fulfilled Law of God, the bread of life, the resurrections and the life and the mercy seat where God Himself dwells and He built the Tabernacle (dwelling place) and “offered the peace offering before Yehovah, then he blessed His people in the name of Yehovah; then He gave to every one of Israel, both men and women, to every one a loaf of bread and a good piece of flesh and a flagon” (I Chr. 16:2f). He gave unto his people the Bread of life, His body and His blood and there was peace with God; “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God” (Rms. 5:1).
“Of a surety Elohim is good to Israel of a clean heart” (Ps. 73:1)
There are no adequate words to describe the goodness of God unto His people. He who knew no sin became the very inabilities He created in Adam for His people. That contradiction of inability was imputed upon Him as He endured the wrath of His judgment against sin. He alone is worthy to be the perfect sacrifice for sin, He alone has the power to perfectly perform the shedding of His blood for the remission of sin and He alone is all the praise for His finished work. His blood was in sufficient quantity or measure to include all the sin of His people though they had not yet been born, neither had done any good or evil. His blood was of sufficient quality to be the perfect propitiation for sin and, because this blood was shed before the foundation of the world, “there remains no sacrifice for sin” (Heb. 10:26).
This goodness is not upon the remnant of the types and foreshadows but upon the Israel of God. He has blessed His people, who have been crucified with Him and raised again unto newness of life, with all spiritual blessings in the heavens and they are now seated with Him in the throne of God. He has also blessed them to walk the path of their habitation while they are partakers of flesh and blood. He has hedged in their way with hewn stones which causes Adam to fear but His people walk by faith.
Asaph is the recorder of memorabilia for the people of Israel. It is he who sets forth both the trails and the tribulations of David and his people. He prepared the record of the victories of King David and the atrocity of his lust for Bath-sheba and the murder of her husband. He proclaims the wisdom of Solomon and the destructive lusts of his heart, whereby he loved many women and his heart was drawn away from God. He and his son ‘the brother of Yah’ (Joah) recorded the events of the nation of Israel through all the kings and queens right down to the captivity under Assyria and Babylon as a reminder to the wandering strangers of Zion.
These many episodes with their pains, sorrow and anguish are a testimony to the nature of Adam which perishes daily and the nature of the seed born from above. The seed is incorruptible and cannot fail to keep the Law of God perfectly while the earthen vessel and its nature is the exact opposite. The records left “were written for our learning, that we through patience (which comes by the trying of the faith within) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rms. 15:4). These records are the things wherein we fall in Adam and come short of the glory of God but they are also wherein the power of His will is manifested in the work of the Messiah.
Asaph the recorder is also he who has written with the iron pen the sin of Judah and Israel (Jer. 17:1) along with the words of Job (Job 19:23). He has written the indelible names of the redeemed of Yehovah in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). These He has confessed before the Father (Rev. 3:5) when He declared His generation saying, “Behold I and the children which thou hast given me for signs and wonders in Israel from Yehovah of Hosts” (Is. 8:18). These children are they which have entered into the Jerusalem which is above for whosoever's name has not been written in the book of life of the Lamb, worships the beast and performs the work of their father, the Devil. These are they which are defiled, work abominations, love and make a lie; these are the residue of Esau/Edom/Adam which shall be consumed by the Refiner’s fire (Ob. 18). Whosoever’s name is recorded in the book of life of the Lamb is entered into that city whose builder and maker is God (Rev. 21:27) for unto the Recorder; My substance was not hid from you when I was made in secret, curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. “Your eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect, and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned when as yet there was none of them” (Ps. 139:16). With these members as well were recorded for memorial, every work which man must perform. He is not recording these things as they happen so that men may be called to answer for their deeds but rather every thought, word and deed comes to pass as they have been recorded in the books (Rev. 20:12).
“But as for me, my feet were almost gone, my steps had well nigh slipped because I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (73:2).
The steps of man are ordained of old and the execution of these steps is by the power and will of God. These steps lead the stranger and sojourner down into the valley of prosperity where the children of this world prosper. Because the theology and mindset of Adam is prone towards respect, he concludes that evil deeds and wicked ways have been rewarded of God for good. Even the servant prophet Jeremiah asked “Wherefore does the way of the wicked prosper whereof they are all happy that deal treacherously?” (Jer. 12:1). He observed that the wicked wax fat and shine as they transgress in wicked deeds. They judge not the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper and the right of the needy they do not judge (5:28). These are the things which the eyes of Adam look upon and wonder for the natural eyes are after the tangible things of the earth, which perish with the use.
The doctrine of man adds to this visual testimony as he proclaims that God is love and He will not judge men and separate them from His presence. They say that God winks at sin or simply overlooks the transgressions as He sees the attempts of man to be good and rewards him for his efforts. This is abominable before God for it impugns His righteousness, trampling the Anointed blood and calling it an unholy thing (Heb. 10:29).
“Whom have I in heaven and there is none besides You upon the earth that I desire” (73:25).
The children of the kingdom of God are not born of man nor by the will of the flesh. The Kingdom of God is not of this earth and flesh and blood shall not inherit His Kingdom. The stranger and pilgrim in this present evil generation cannot find any peace or hope in the things of this world nor can he see the good which God performs after the natural eyes. Yet the promise of Yehovah God is that everything which He has created is according to the intent of His heart and according to the good pleasure of His will they all work harmoniously for good; to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose (Rms. 8:28).
The testimony of this promise and the assurance of the hope of glory is a spiritual matter that is communicated by the Spirit of God from faith to faith. It does not rely or depend upon the filthy hands or the vile tongue of Adam to be proclaimed and it is certainly not subject to the vain imaginations of the creatures of the dust. The testimony is manifested in the very trials and tribulations which He has ordained for His people to walk into and experience. These demonstrate the total inability of the natural man with all his desires which are carnal and earthly. Therefore is he dawn away after those things which are necessary to sustain his natural being. Which being is growing older by the moment as it hastens to the grave where it shall return unto the dust from whence it was formed.
“My flesh and heart are failing but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (73:26).
Heaven and earth shall pass away as the times of our habitations come to an end. The eternal Word of God stands fixed and sure. None can move Him, alter His Word or cause Him to change His mind. He sits in heaven and rules over the kingdoms of this world saying, I am God there is no other. He is the birth right of the saints, the portion or inheritance and the memorial of a finished work. The outward man perishes daily as it travels back to the dust but the inward man is renewed by the life within. The heart of stone has been removed and an heart of flesh has been given. Yehovah God is the strength of that heart and His Spirit causes His Beloved to walk according to His statutes and to keep His commandments.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
March 22, 2015