“Blessed are those whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.”
Ancient Israel was a culture of pilgrimages. Mosaic law deemed it necessary for all males to walk to Jerusalem for three of the major feasts each year. On their pilgrimages they often formed caravans and worshipped in anticipation of the great festivals. This Psalm (or Song) was written by the sons of Korah, a family that had suffered tragedy in the time of Moses (Numbers 16) … and these sons had found strength in the God in Zion.
Those journeys to Zion would have been taxing with steep climbs and deep valleys in a hot and arid climate. The rains were seasonal and sparse, with any pools formed being quickly absorbed into the dry ground. However seasoned travelers would have known that the spaced presence of scrub trees and vegetation would be indicative of deep underground reservoirs for survival and strengthening. In the shadowy valleys of suffering and tears (Baca) they would have found the places of springs…and they would have made their pilgrimage by going…from strength to strength.
In your life-world are you finding yourself in a Valley of Baca? Are you longing for those reservoirs of strengthening on your journey…your pilgrimage? As a Spiritual Director I will companion with you, as you seek the strength that only comes from Him.