How lovely is Your Tabernacle, O Lord of Hosts!
Psalm 84v10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand (elsewhere), I had rather be a doorkeeper in the House of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness..
At least three times a year, every obedient Jew, no matter where they lived, was to make a pilgrimage back to Jerusalem. There was no easy means of travel, it would have all been on foot or on animal back. I believe one of God’s purposes for this was to remind the Israelites of the travails of their forefathers during the times of the Exodus, and later those of the exiles to Babylon and back. Maybe to recognize God’s current blessings on them as well.
Psalm 84v6..”Who passing through the Valley of Baca make it a well; The rain also filleth the pools.” The Valley of Baca was a very dry region, and the odds of it raining there were pretty slim. (Baca..weeping or balsam tree). So those who would make the journey, would have to allow for the dry days of travel through dangerous desert areas. Ps.23..”Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..” No matter how a pilgrim returned to Jerusalem, they had to pass thru arid and unforgiving lands. People would be traveling in groups and as they got closer to Jerusalem, the groups would gather into larger and larger masses. Eventually they would look like the Israelites coming out of Egypt and into the promised land.
As they walked, they would remind one another of how nice it would be in the Temple area. They could talk about how blessed they were that they didn’t have to wander for years in the desert, maybe just a day or two. This lifted up their spirits, even in the hard places. They knew that if they could just make it through the dry lands, they could soon rejoice in the rich one. The land where the Lord God of Zion dwelt. As the throng grew larger, they would renew relationships from previous journeys and exhort one another with memories of pilgrimages past. Singing the from “Songs of Ascents” in the Book of Psalms (Ps.120-134) as they went up to worship in “The House of Lord of Hosts”, was part of the yearly experience too.
Once they arrived, after days of trials, they could truly rejoice in seeing their Father’s House again. They would spend their days at rest, recalling how good God has always been to His people, and enjoying the special times of worship in His Tabernacle again.
After the tough travel, it was very easy to say Ps.84v10..”Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand”,(Anywhere else!)..
Dry times come for everyone. After trials, or the Valleys of Baca (weeping) that come into our lives, we should look forward to the House of the Lord, a place to remember His goodness. The times of worshipping God, the fellowshipping with and encouraging other Believers, makes the return trip through the dry valleys easier. We find in His House, His presence, His grace, His glory, and fullness of joy; And we remember again, Ps.84v11b there is..”No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly”.Where the Lord is, there is plenty of living water! (84v6)
Pray. (From Ps.89v6-8) “For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence of all them that are about Him. O Lord God of Hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto Thee? Or to Thy faithfulness round about Thee? Thank You O Lord, for Your care in the dry valleys of Baca! In our Savior’s name, Jesus, Amen !