Pilgrims, March On!
“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” (Psalms 84:5-6).
The superscription ascribes Psalm 84 to the sons of Korah. Under the Law of Moses they were chosen to be the keepers of the temple. The general tenor of Psalm 84 is stated from the outset: “It is lovely to dwell in God’s tabernacle.”
The above verse seems to focus on the hazards and challenges of those pilgrims who are making their way to the house of God. “The Valley of Baca” symbolizes a time of grief and sorrow. The imagery is of a company of pilgrims passing through difficult and desolate places, but pressing on to their destination. Consider two important lessons here.
First, these spiritual pilgrims must persevere. There are a number of challenges that may hinder us in our pursuit of godliness and fellowship with God. Only the determined and courageous will persevere through the valleys. Our daily persistent efforts will get us closer to Zion. By patient continuance in doing good, we will arrive (Romans 2:7)!
Second, God can strengthen the faithful ones who find themselves in the valleys. The Valley of Sorrow is turned into a spring. The rain also covers it with pools (Psalms 84:6). One said, “The pilgrim-band, rich in hope, forget the trials and difficulties of the way; hope changes the rugged and stony waste into living fountains.” Paul says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Those in pursuit of the sweet fellowship of God must overlook the obstacles and press on to the goal.
Sing on ye joyful pilgrims
The time will not be long
`Til in our Father’s kingdom
We swell a nobler song
Where those we love are waiting
To greet us on the shore
We’ll meet beyond the river
Where surges roll no more