Welcome back for our ninth day as we review people in the Bible who left record of thanks to God. They are all part of this series of Advent devotionals on the theme of “Thanking Jesus.”
Asaph was a Levite, the priest whom King David put in charge of a very specific task: offering praise and thanks in the Temple.
According to 1 Chronicles 16:4,5, Asaph’s gifts included not only playing the cymbals, harp and lyre, but also composing songs for the congregation to sing. His name is attached to twelve of the psalms (50 and 73-83) we have in our Bible, though some of them may have been written by a later descendant having the same name.
Psalm 50 is one of the pieces written by David’s friend. Most of the psalm involves God speaking. The Lord begs His people to listen. “I have no complaint about your sacrifices . . . but I want no more bulls from your barns, I want no more goats from your pens. . . . What I want instead is your true thanks to God.” God asks for their obedience, for the people to trust Him. The Lord concludes by saying, “Giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”
Asaph was gifted with musical talent. Playing his instruments and writing psalms were easy tasks for him, hardly a sacrifice. His natural gifts lay in those areas. But God demands more than just our talents. He wants our thanks when we face the tough tasks.
Where in your life do you sacrifice as you give thanks?