Let’s have our HEARTS set on a PILGRIMAGE: "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion." (Psalms 84:5-7)
Psalm 84 is a song of pilgrimage penned by the sons of Korah whose duties included being gatekeepers of the temple (1 Chron. 26:1, 12–19). This psalm reveals an intense longing for God’s house – the temple in Jerusalem (Psalm 84:1-4), and this impulse for worship was so strong as to overcome any obstacle that might stand in the way of the pilgrim (v. 7). God was there, and to worship Him there ultimately was the height of all joy and blessing (v. 10).
There are five lessons that we can learn from the above verses 5-7 that are listed below:
- God considers those people blessed who have learned the secret of putting their focus/trust in God: We are blessed (divine favored) when our strength to believe, obey and suffer lies in God alone. This happens when the doctrines, precepts, and promises of God are deeply engraved upon our hearts, and we are passionate in following God’s ways during our life’s journey.
- God is not only their power source, but their hearts are set on a pilgrimage: Pilgrimages to the tabernacle were a grand feature of Jewish life and these blessed people had an earnest desire to take this journey, even though they lived far off from the tabernacle. We need to realize that this earth is not our own – we are just passing through. We need to closely follow the footsteps of the fathers in faith who confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on this earth (Heb 11:13).
- As these pilgrims pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring (or, well): The Valley of Baca represents the valley of weeping – the testing/trial experiences in the life of a believer. These tragic experiences should create wells of testimony regarding the faithfulness of God, and these experiences may be used to bless others as we go through similar experiences. Let’s always remember that “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Psalms 37:23).
- When we use our life experiences to bless others, God will fill our wells of experience with His rain: God will pour His showers of blessings upon our efforts to glorify Him through our life tragedies. God will help us to overcome our tragic situations and help us to be “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37).
- We will go from strength to strength until we appear before God: At the end of all our valley experiences, we will appear before God in Mount Zion, the holy mountain of God. Even though weary from the demands of the journey, we will gather strength as we trudge along in God's ways, and finally reach the wonderful presence of God.