In Psalm 84 the word ‘blessing’ is used a number of times. This psalm was sung by God’s people, travelling to the Temple in Jerusalem, to worship the Lord. The first ‘blessing’ comes in verse 4– of being in the Temple. With God. Singing His praises. To be with Him, the very best blessing of all!
There’s more? Verse 5 tells of the blessing that God puts in our hearts as we seek Him. It’s that certain longing to find Him and His will for our lives. A blessing of obedience that feels clean and right. ‘In whose heart are the highways to Zion’. God paves the heart-highway that leads directly to Him. Happy trails!
The third blessing is hinted at in verses 5- 7, where those who trust in God can’t even measure all His blessings. They’re like springs and pools of water flooding over their banks. Blessings galore!
In Hebrew, the word ‘blessing’ is ‘b’raca’. Psalm 84 pilgrims go through the ‘Valley of Baca’ on their journey to the Temple. ‘Baca’ refers to a dry and desolate place. Psalm 84 reassures them that when in that dry valley they can hold His hand, walk beside Him, and arrive safely in that place of blessing.
When I’ve been down and dry myself, I’ve been tempted to imagine that God has abandoned me, left me to my own rotten devices. I’ve needed His reassurances to nudge me from ‘Baca’ to ‘B’raca’! You too?
Here’s something odd I’ve discovered about myself. In a couple of the churches I’ve pastored, which were going and growing fellowships long before I arrived on the scene, I found myself utterly bored. Couldn’t wait to get out. What was missing? I now know–the challenge of ‘baca’!
The last church I served was down to eighteen members (that was before I arrived, thank you!). They had searched out real estate brokers about selling the property. Had been a church of over three hundred thirty years before, a thriving congregation. Now they were ‘baca’ for sure.
The call came my way to serve the Lord as their pastor. My reaction? I loved the idea of being in ‘baca’-dryness to see what ‘b’raca’-blessings the Lord had in mind if we but looked to Him, seeking His will. What happened? God not only showed us His blessings. He showered us with them!
Don’t fear the ‘baca’ you may be in. Pray. Look to the Lord. Ask for His ‘b’raca’-blessings and see what He has in store for you. Seek Him. Don’t ever let go.
‘Blessed are those…as they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs…blessed is the man who trusts in you’ (Psalm 84:5-6,12). Could never have said it better myself!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for staying with us through discouraging times. In Jesus’ name. Amen.