PSALM 84:5-7: “How happy are those whose strength is in you, whose heart is on your path. (6) They will pass through the Baca Valley where he will prepare a spring for them; even the early rain will cover it with blessings. (7) They will walk from strength to strength; each will appear before God in Zion.” (ISV)
OBSERVATION: Is there hope in the midst of overwhelming sorrow? To be a follower of Jesus Christ does not preclude one from the trials, difficulties, disappointments, and sorrows of life. We live in a fallen world where everything is touched and affected by the entrance of sin. Sometimes the world looks like it is upside down. Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. We face grave disappointments, and losses that seem to make no sense at all. Is there any hope in the midst of these difficult and desperate times?
The Psalmist refers to those who walk through the “Baca Valley”. Baca is literally translated “weeping”, so many Bible translations render it the “valley of weeping”. No one really knows the exact location of this valley. It probably was an arid stretch of land, somewhere on the pilgrimage route to Jerusalem, that the Jews used to travel on their way to celebrate the feasts. Yet, it symbolized the experience that we all face in life at different times, and in different ways. Along the way, in our walk with and toward the Lord’s presence, there are times of weeping, sorrow, and loss. Yet, there is also a promise of His strength and restoration.
The wonder of the Christian faith is the paradox of emotions that we can experience as we walk in the Spirit. In the midst of extreme sorrow, we can also experience extreme joy. In the midst of extreme weakness, we can also experience extreme strength. And, in the midst of extreme weariness, when we feel like we just can’t go on, we can experience the rain of His presence refreshing our lives. The main point of the Psalmist is that we “pass through” the valley of weeping, we never camp there! This is also what David proclaims in Psalm 23, when he writes,
- “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.” Psalms 23:4-6 NKJV
The greatest difficulty we all can face is death. Yet, even in death we are more than Overcomers through Christ who loves us. Death is not the end of our journey, for He walks us even through the valley of the shadow of death. In reality, through faith in Christ, the power and sting of death is broken. There is weeping and sorrow during out time of loss, but there is also the blessed hope, assurance, and joy of eternal life in Christ Jesus!
- “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 15:55-58 NKJV
The Psalmist rightly proclaims of those whose strength (trust) is in the Lord –
- “They will pass through the Baca Valley where he will prepare a spring for them; even the early rain will cover it with blessings. They will walk from strength to strength; each will appear before God in Zion.”
Lord, for those who find themselves in the Baca Valley, facing severe loss or difficulty – pour out the spring rain of Your great grace and comfort upon their hearts. Lift and carry them each step of the way, until they begin to experience Your strength becoming their strength. Guide them with Your rod and staff and protect them. Let their weeping be turned into the wonder of Your peace, hope, and joy, as they place their trust in You.
In Jesus Name!