“A Psalm of Asaph.
God, the Great God, Yahweh! He commands and proclaims to the earth from the rising sun unto its setting.”
What an amazing beginning to this psalm. Literally it reads: אֵל אֱלֹהִים יהוח (El, Elohim, Yahweh) — three names of God, each getting more specific as it leads to the Covenant name of our almighty God. Only one other time in the Scriptures does such a phrase arise, and in that case, it is found in the context of an oath that the Tribe of Reuben makes to demonstrate the sincerity of their worship of God (Joshua 22:22) after having set up an altar of witness in the eastern territories, something seen as a form of idol worship. And so, in this way Asaph, who was one of the Levitical singers that was placed over the worship in the Tabernacle by David (see 1 Chronicles 6:31-32,39), begins his psalm of praise and glory to the Lord.
What is it that he speaks of God doing? God is preaching. He is proclaiming to the earth his majesty and glory from the rising until the setting of the sun. And so, here, we are reminded by Asaph, as the author of Hebrews again reminds us, that as long as it is day, we are to sing praises to God that we might not become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13). Indeed, sin says to us that it will satisfy, yet it cannot deliver on its promise. Satisfaction can only be found in Jesus Christ who is Lord and master of all.
The idea of God preaching is one that looks both backwards and forwards. God essentially preaches creation into being in the beginning and he preaches a sermon on the greatness of his name to Moses on Mount Sinai. And, as we move through the Scriptures, we find God declaring the glories of his name to us that we might not only worship him but also so that we might declare that truth to others. Indeed, we are not always faithful at that task, nevertheless, it is our responsibility to do so and Asaph gives us an inspired model for doing just that.