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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

August 14 2023

“They Go from Strength to Strength”

Psalm 84:1-12

To the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

“How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young-- Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah

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. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah

O God, behold our shield, And look upon the face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!”

Today we are going to look at the heart of Psalm 84. From the context of this Psalm, especially in these middle verses, we learn that this Levite who was one of the sons of Korah, loved and delighted to go on pilgrimage to the House of God to worship. But for whatever reason at this time, he was not able to go. Instead of speaking of “we” he speaks of “they”. And it is obvious that he is very envious of them and their experience as they go and make this journey.

He already has declared how his delight is in the house of God and his desire to be there where His glory dwells. Now he writes about how they go from strength to strength in their pilgrimage to God’s house. Though he had to remain at home, the psalmist's heart was set on pilgrimage, and the very map to Jerusalem was written on that heart. His love for God and His house helped him make right decisions in life so that he did not go astray. For sure those who dwell in the house of the Lord are blessed and they find their daily strength from Him.

A geographic site named "the Valley of Baca" is nowhere identified in Scripture. "Baca" is a Hebrew' word meaning "balsam tree," and the sap of this tree oozes like tears. The pilgrimage of life involves going through the valley of weeping. The "Valley of Baca" is a name for any difficult and painful place in life, where everything seems hopeless, and you feel helpless. It is like "the pit of despair" in Pilgrim’s Progress. The people who love God expect to pass through this valley and not remain there.

Instead of wallowing in the hole of self-pity, by the grace of God and faith they turn the suffering and pain into a place of refreshment. They get a blessing from the experience, and they leave a blessing behind. Like Abraham and Isaac, they "dig a well" (Gen. 21:22-34; 26:17-33), and like Samuel and Elijah, they pray down the rain (1 Sam. 12:16-25; 1 Kings 18). It's wonderful to receive a blessing, but it's even greater to be a blessing and transform a desert into a garden.

True pilgrims "go from strength to strength" (Deut. 33:25; Isa. 40:28-31; Phil. 4:13) and trust God to enable them to walk a step at a time and work a day at a time. They are people of prayer who keep in communion with the Lord, no matter what their circumstances may be. Yes, my friend, "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You" (v. 5). Because “They go from strength to strength” (v. 7).

The Lord’s grace and strength are available today for the person who by faith put their trust in the Lord. And like the Apostle Paul they will say: “And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

God bless!

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