Psalm 84 Part 3
The message of this psalm is such encouragement from the Lord and it challenges us to reassess our focus on Godly living. So that we can experience what God desires for us all the time. I realise how easy it is for us to be side-tracked from making the Lord first in our life. Verse 5 says “Blessed (happy) is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage (to Zion) “. This verse highlights the areas of importance in our Christian life which when they are our priority we are blessed. The first area of importance is where does my strength come from. This part of us that wants to be in control but that is not God’s way. For it takes great courage to learn to trust in the Lord’s strength. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” As I look back over my life there are too many things to write about, except to say that I am amazed at what the Lord has done in my lifetime. The spiritual strength that the Lord gives when you humble yourself is so outstanding. The next area is a little bit harder to understand but what it says is so powerful, the verse says “whose heart is set on pilgrimage”. In old testament times, all people who loved their God would once a year go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover Feast, which was a celebration of when the Israelites in Egypt applied the blood to the doorposts and the lintels and the Angel death passed over them and they were safe. The sad thing was that not all the people celebrated the Passover because over the years it became not special anymore to them. Today we experience the same temptation because we do not place living with Jesus as our number 1 priority. The psalmist says that you are blessed when you set your heart in rejoicing on God’s goodness in our lives. It is good to remember that the psalmist is talking about people who are passionate about the Lord and we are encouraged to be the same. Verse 6 says “As they pass through the valley of Baca (Weeping), they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools “. It is also, good to be reminded that life is not all smooth sailing – the challenge that we have is how do I react when things do not turn well. I remember the unexpected death of my youngest daughter and the sudden death of my wife three years later, they were certainly places of extreme sorrow! The psalmist talks about passing through the valley – not making it a place where we stay. Psalm 23:4 gives the same message that in times of great sorrow the Lord is with us. The psalmist talks about making a spring in the valley – in the Old Testament times everyone depended on water, in the sad times we can give life to people who we contact and this has been my focus. Especially since the passing of my precious wife, while it has been very sad I have chosen to grow in my relationship with my Lord. I have also chosen to be an encourament to people and challenged them to follow the Lord with everything that they have because when they do that they also bless other people.