Generations, like peanut butter and jelly, are layered lavishly one upon another at the tables. Like a train of blessing, bowls with steam rising and platters overflowing, pass from big hands to little. A chain of exclamations, deep voices and little ones rise higher and higher in decibel. Stories and laughter richer than creamed gravy fills the room. Gratefulness, without naivety, squeezes me with invisible arms until I fold mine around my waist. I step from myself and gaze at the scene as if from a movie. Love, velvet in my throat, almost painful in my chest, fills me.
Generations. Created by God, maintained by His choosing.
“…That they should make them known to their children; That the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children…” Ps. 78:5-6. (NKJV).
Asaph knew. He saw upfront and up close the impact of God’s word, of obedience to Him, its effect on generations, families, and even on nations. Part of King David’s worship leadership team, Asaph was musical, a writer, and a man of God. We know from his Psalms that he was a man of suffering, perhaps often thrown into depression, but one who understood the richness of life was so much greater than the eye could see. He understood that every man’s razor thin moment in the continuum of life, had eternal value. He knew that like the unrolling of a scroll, the continuity of purpose goes on like the line of David. Asaph seemed to understand the brevity of life within a great picture; that what I do today may influence 100 years later.
I like Asaph.
Honest, and forthright, he expressed how he felt, he wrote of deep emotions and difficult relationships. He penned words that we think but are afraid to voice, fearful that our doubts will be cancer to our souls. Asaph faced them. He laid them next to the truth of God’s word, juxtaposed emotion with belief, and righteousness with evil.
But perhaps one of the real reasons the Psalms of Asaph appeal to me is because he knew how to recalibrate. He wasn’t stuck in the mire of circumstance. He pulled himself out and put on the glasses of Sovereignty.
He cried from anguish, “Will the Lord cast off forever?”
He voiced fear, “Will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever?”
He stated the unthinkable, “Has His promise failed forevermore?” (from Ps. 77).
But Asaph always returned to truth. He realigned emotion with fact and He clung with all his being.
“And I said, ‘This is my anguish; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.’” (Ps. 77:10, NKJV).
Like a GPS on the dashboard of his soul, his words transformed direction, vision and desires.
“I will remember…”
“I will meditate…”
“I will talk of your deeds…”
“Your way, O God is in ‘holiness.’” (Ps. 77:13; “sanctuary”).
The world has become a fearful place. Outside my walls voices are hot and angry, reason has flown away with decency, there is no anchor for the soul. But then again, Asaph reminds me. One generation after another has faced similar trials.
Inside my walls, there is a Savior. He opens His arms and His love splashes onto my generations. Asaph’s wisdom is like a compass in my brain and reigns in my heart. I lift my head and listen. My inner being pivots. I will by God’s grace be faithful to do my part.
“…Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, And Hs strength and His wonderful works that He has done.” Ps. 78:4.
Recalibrate. Remember. Realign.