As They Pass Through the Valley of Baca
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion (Psalm 84:5–7 NIV).
The Psalmist talks about the blessedness of those who dwell in God’s house in the beginning of this Psalm. He even envies the sparrow and swallow who found a place near God’s altar. But then he focuses on those who come to God’s house from far away. He tells us that they are strengthened in their journey to God’s house because God is their strength. Therefore they are blessed.
The man who has God as his strength is on a pilgrimage. He is always on a journey which moves him closer to God. He is one who has no confidence in himself; but only in God who strengthens Him. He draws strength from God. And he has his heart set on this journey. That means that he has firmly decided to complete this journey. No distractions or other duties thrust upon him can take his eyes away from his pilgrimage towards God and His house.
The Psalmist here talks about the Valley of Baca. It is also known as the Valley of Weeping or the Valley of Tears. He points out that the pilgrim passes through this valley. It is said that there was some difficult valley in Israel through which people had to pass to reach Zion; where the tabernacle of God stood. This valley had such hardships that it was named the Valley of Weeping. Pilgrims may not have an easy journey of faith. They might pass through difficult times.
Yet it is pointed out that these pilgrims make that valley a place of springs. They are not discouraged by the difficulties there. Instead, they made provisions of storing water. They might have dug wells there. Likewise, if you are journeying towards God, you can turn places of difficulty into places of blessing. This can happen if your strength is in God.
Further, it says that the autumn rains also cover it with pools. That means that these pilgrims were assisted on their journey by provision of rain water from above. It talks about God’s grace which comes from above, and His encouragement that meets your needs in your journey. It refreshes you and helps you move forward.
Finally, the Psalmist points out that God gives much strength to those whose strength are in Him. It is an endless supply. This enables them to complete their journey. They will appear before God in Zion. Dear child of God walking as a pilgrim; know that God is your strength. In spite of your difficulties He will strengthen you to appear before Him. You will complete your journey of faith. And He will strengthen you along the way and give you grace to turn your places of difficulty into places of blessing!