Let’s start by trying to identify Asaph. You would have found his name in Psalm 50 but we didn’t mention it at all. Today we have to mention it because starting in this psalm all the way to Psalm 83 we hear him mentioned in each of the preludes. As in most cases there are a number of different theories as to who exactly Asaph is. I’m going with the theory that Asaph is the one mentioned in I Chronicles 6:39 who was considered one of the main singers in David’s temple. He was also credited with performing in the dedication of the temple by Solomon in II Chronicles 5:12 (I’m so glad I proofread this. I had put “performed in Solomon’s wedding”. That would not have been accurate). Let’s see, the book of psalms is a book of songs and this man, Asaph, is a singer/songwriter. I like that, it almost seems like it makes sense. I’m going with that theory. David would have known him and he would have been one of the leading singers and songwriters of his time. Asaph would have been to harp music what the Beatles were to rock and roll.
Now to the body of the psalm. Look at vs.1 and there is a bit of a choice that we have to make in regards to that verse. Instead of reading “God is good to the upright” the Hebrew translation could also mean: “God is good to Israel”. That makes a little more sense especially when he follows it with: “to those who are pure in heart.” Of course the psalmist is going to see the people of Israel as the pure in heart, as the ones chosen by the Almighty to be the bloodline of the messiah and the chosen one.
Throughout the psalm he points out the negative attributes of his enemies and how God encourages those things which will bring ruin in their lives. He speaks very little about how God is a positive influence in his life, but mostly how God manipulates things in such a way that he “makes them fall to ruin.” Hmm, we have seen this before. But he snaps out of it and in vs.28 he praises God, actually praises himself that he has made God his refuge in order to tell others of God’s wonderful works.