Summary: The testimony of Asaph, who is a very mature and experienced ministry leader, is that he is going through the storm of doubt. In this sermon we look at the reasons for the doubt and how to storm-proof our life when we have doubts.
The Storm of Doubt
“Why Be Faithful as a Christian”
Have you ever asked yourself that question?
Maybe not specifically – but there is this thought that can happen in your mind in response to a situation that has unfolded in your world.
For me it has come when I have reflected on the health of my daughters; particularly Amelia and Kierstin.
A serious operation to rectify scoliosis.
12 years of watching gastric issues cause severe pain.
5 years of battling with a cancer that came back three times.
I did ask the question.
What is the purpose of being faithful … and faithfully serve … when these things happen?
Which doesn’t really sound like a question
… a Christian should ask.
… a Pastor should ask.
Except it is …
It is a question that gets asked. And it is a testimony that is shared.
Indeed it is a testimony which is can be found in the Scripture.
Let’s turn to Psalm 73
We are going to read a testimony written by a man called Asaph.
You can see the questions.
“my feet had almost slipped”
“the arrogant have no struggles”
“the wicked are free of care and wealthy”
“in vain I have kept my heart pure”
Why live the life of a believer when the world around us gets ahead and has it easier?
What is the point?
This is Asaph’s storm of doubt.
Now, could it be that Asaph is going through that storm because he is a new convert, or an immature believer, or one of those people who say they are trust in God but are not really involved.
That could perhaps give us a bit of an explanation. Except it doesn’t … give us an explanation. Because Asaph is far from being a new convert, and immature, and not really engaged.
I’m going to read some verses. They come from the historical context when the tabernacle was set up in Jerusalem, before the temple had been built. Whether it was a tabernacle or a temple both places were called “the house of the Lord”. This is a description of the functioning of this Holy Place.
31 These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the Lord after the ark came to rest there. 32 They ministered with music before the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, until Solomon built the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. They performed their duties according to the regulations laid down for them. 33 Here are the men who served, together with their sons:
from the Kohathites:
Heman, the musician,
39 and Heman’s associate Asaph, who served at his right hand:
Asaph son of Berekiah
4 David appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to extol, thank, and praise the Lord, the God of Israel: 5 Asaph was the chief, and next to him in rank were Zechariah … (and others) … Asaph was to sound the cymbals
1 David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals. Here is the list of the men who performed this service:
2 from the sons of Asaph:
Zakkur, Joseph, Nethaniah and Asarelah. The sons of Asaph were under the supervision of Asaph, who prophesied under the king’s supervision.
Asaph is not a spiritual minnow. He is the chief worship leader. He supervised those who prophesied. Not only that, as one who has a significant position in the worship at the tabernacle he also has makes a significant contribution to the writing of the Psalms which the Israelites … and now Christians … sing.
Asaph contributes 12 Psalms to the Psalter. Psalms 50; 73-83.
So this is Asaph
He goes to the tabernacle nearly every day and sings.
Other worship leaders at the tabernacle look up to him … and they want to be like him.
He gets to be in the holy place at the tabernacle, close to God in the Holy of Holies
When people are at home singing Psalms, they sometimes sing Psalms Asaph wrote.
Asaph is doing all of this. He has a mature, solid, growing spiritual life. He is surround by people who are a great example and influence. He has been personally appointed by King David – David who also is no spiritual minnow when it comes to worship.
Then one day it all gets to him. He thinks about all that is happening in the world and he finds himself in the middle of a storm of doubt.
What causes the doubt?
“I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (Psalm 73:3)