He was feeling down! In verse 21 he gets even more expressive about how he feels “…my heart was grieved and I was vexed in my mind”. In other words; he was ‘gutted”. He knew that God was good, but as far as he was concerned, he’d lost the plot! Surrounding situations were troubling him, filling his mind with doubts and fears. It’s hard to believe he could get like that. First appointed as lead praise singer by King David, he had served right through the reigns of both David and Solomon leading the people in songs of praise. His name is Asaph, and this Psalm is his testimony of how by taking his troubles to the Lord his faith was refreshed and his hope was restored.
He ‘went into the sanctuary’ v17. His feet had been dragging; he found it hard to express praise. He found it hard to understand where God was in all that was going on around him; however, as he lifts the telescope of God’s Word to the eye of faith it all jumps into focus. His “But as for me” perspective takes on a more positive note. Maybe he was the ‘Chief Musician’ who put music to David’s Psalm 55, where in verse 22 it says “Cast your burdens on the Lord and He shall sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved”. I like to think it was!
Praise God for the ‘Sanctuary’; Psalm 91 calls it the “Secret place of the Most High”. That is where Asaph went, and in God’s presence found triumph over his troubles. Yes, the world around him did not change, and the wicked still prospered, but after a time in the sanctuary he was able to say; “Nevertheless, I am continually with you, you hold me by my right-hand, you will guide me by your council, and afterward receive me to glory” v23-24.
Let’s give thanks today! Like Asaph, in the Sanctuary we can find a place of peace, assurance, and eternal hope. Both in the ‘secret place’ and in the ‘assembling of ourselves together’ Jesus is there with “Grace to help us in the time of need”.