Psalm 84 was penned by the sons of Korah.
Numbers chapter 16 recalls the dreadful account of the Levite who led an insurrection against Moses and Aaron, resulting in God’s fierce judgment upon his family and followers. The entire nation of Israel witnessed in shock as the earth opened up its mouth and swallowed them alive, and the flames of hell consumed them.
Yet, some relatives must have survived. And not only did they survive, they must have learned the lesson and so dedicated themselves to God’s true worship that they ended up writing inspired scriptures. They sang:
“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca (tears), 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.” Psalm 84:5-7
And if we are to analyze the poem carefully, the simple message is that a person is blessed by relying on God’s strength and by living as a pilgrim in this world, having our hearts set on eternal things. Even when enduring sorrows (the valley of tears), we are to pass through them and move on, rather than setting up permanent residence. And while passing through sorrows, we will not only experience God’s goodness, but will actually gather strength and be better prepared for everlasting Life.
So reliance on God and seeking first His Kingdom will not only preserve us in hard times, but will add to our eternal stature. Not bad for a lowly pilgrim in this fallen world.
The exact location of the biblical Valley of Baca (Tears) that the sons of Korah mentioned is not known. It could be referring to the Valley of Rapha’eem that each pilgrim had to pass through on their way to worship in Jerusalem. It certainly refers to each valley of tears in your life and mine.
Some of you who have traveled to Israel with us may recall Israel’s modern day Valley of Baca (tears), a broad plateau on the northern section of the Golan Heights that became ground zero for the largest tank battle in all Middle Eastern wars during the 1973 Israeli-Arab War of Yom Kippur.
As hundreds of Syrian tanks were destroyed by fledgling Israeli forces in desperate fighting on Oct 9, the battle for the Golan Heights turned in Israel’s favor. The IDF’s attention could now be turned toward the southern Egyptian front, and the survival of the State of Israel was again secured by a very high price.
Oct 6, 1973: The bloody Valley of Tears Battle fought in the Yom Kippur War.(photo credit: IDF photo archives)
For those of you who are interested in history, check out Valley of Tears.
If you want to see the location firsthand and also enjoy the highlights of Israel, I am leading a Ministers Vision Trip to Israel this coming February 2017 and we still have a few open spots for this half-priced (deeply subsidized), all-inclusive trip.
If you are involved in ministry or leadership, or if you want to send your pastor/minister (and spouse) to Israel for an intimate and in-depth experience with us, visit Pastors & Evangelists Israel Vision Tour, and let us know this week since registration is closing soon.
Looking forward to seeing you in Israel.