Reflections: I found the psalm quite amazing, as the psalmist mentions passing through the Valley of Baka. This was known as a place of weeping and trials, a dry vale on their journey. But with God leading the journey “they make it” a place of refreshment, with the heavenly pools that feed their thirst for the living God. This psalm is also basis for the lyrics of the popular praise song, “Better is One Day in Your Courts”. We see the psalmist longing to be in the courts of God, and how his heart cries out and faints for God’s presence which can sustain.
As we go through the valleys of life that are dry by nature, we can find the refreshing presence and rain (reign) of God as we seek and cry out to Him. We are all pilgrims on this earth and these refreshing pools remind of how one day we will be in God’s presence, and we will thirst no more. But for now we know that God is with us, even in the driest moments of our lives physically, spiritually and emotionally. I came across this poem which is beautifully written along these lines.
the Valley of Baka (A.M. Trumble, bttryflyscar.blogspot.com)
a place of springs, where autumn rains gently cover the pools,
this spot is a well-springing forth of faithfulness.
it is where the meekest of creatures mingle: the sparrow, the swallow-
their legs have but the strength of a twig, their souls are of
in the valley there are nests and homes, and there are many
young, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
the surging sea is ruled by something greater;the valley's
pilgrims stay dry when waves mount up, something
all living flesh here makes sound, cries out, yearns, even faints.
it sounds like music, and singing.
it is where peace and righteousness kiss, they are established-
their legs like pillars towards the heavens , from north to south
the line endures forever.
in the valley live the Sons of Korah, Philistia too, and Tyre,
along with Cush. they return from their journey.
they bathe in these clouds full of latter rains, and remember how
fleeting is their life, how empty is their bag of weights-
how haughty they were before the fall;
how they are ruled by something greater,
and something stills them
Then, in our gospel in Luke, we see a transition from Jesus preaching and healing and casting out demons to the disciples doing it in His name. Jesus has shown them how God’s kingdom comes in with power and authority through His name, and now they begin to use this power and authority to be ambassadors of God’s kingdom coming. Notice Jesus tells them to take nothing with them so it will be un-mistakably clear to them that all their provision is coming from God.
These two passages show us a theme that as we journey in life, as we realize that as we rely on God, He will give us what we need as we travel through life’s valleys. As we seek to carry out the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations; Jesus is with us and it is His power, authority and provision which sustain us when the journey gets hard!
May you be strengthened as you wait on the Lord for all you need for all He has planned for you no matter what valley you are in!
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
23 No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the Lord.2 No one born of a forbidden marriage nor any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation.3 No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation. 4 For they did not come to meet you with bread and water on your way when you came out of Egypt, and they hired Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram Naharaim to pronounce a curse on you. 5 However, the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you. 6 Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them as long as you live.7 Do not despise an Edomite, for the Edomites are related to you. Do not despise an Egyptian, because you resided as foreigners in their country. 8 The third generation of children born to them may enter the assembly of the Lord.
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
9 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, 8 others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. 9 But Herod said, “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” And he tried to see him.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, 11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
You sweep them away; they are like a dream, like grass, in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers. Psalm 90:5,6
What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 1 Corinthians 15:42
Dear Lord, give us the insight to reject those things that are temporal and select what is renewing and imperishable. Our prayer life helps us judge those things which are most valuable. Amen