“Then we turned and journeyed into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea, as the Lord told me. And for many days we traveled around Mount Seir. 2 Then the Lord said to me, 3 ‘You have been traveling around this mountain country long enough. ESV
“You have been traveling around this mountain country long enough.” Has the Lord ever said such a thing to you? This stopped me short. There will come a time when the Lord will say the wandering in the wilderness is complete- move on into this next new place. And He will have specific commands, instruction, and guidance for that new land. I pray I heed and listen. The Lord sees our wanderings, our cries, our tears, our struggles. Will we be surprised when His intervention comes? Wandering is a tutor toward meekness.
5Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.[b]
6 As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion. ESV
What strength, beauty, and life is conveyed here in this passage… a place of springs, covered with pools… there is a secret in God that can transform the valley into a place of life. To me, this passage speaks of the overcomer. The one who is transformative through God through the challenges, valleys, and difficulties of life. To appear before God in Zion- to be in His Presence; His city. The one whose strength is in God will have the highway to Zion in his heart. The healing, life-giving Presence of God will flow into the deep places of his life and bring provision, and refreshment. In my heart, I know that Zion and the highway- the Valley of Baca – these are figurative and they speak of more than just what is face value here. To go from strength to strength is to be like the hind- hind’s feet on high places… leaping from mountain top to mountain top- in victory.
11For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you! ESV
You, O Lord, are a sun and shield. You bestow favor and honor. The NASB says, “The Lord gives grace and glory;” Grace and Glory. Favor and Honor. Help me, O Lord to walk uprightly.
For thus the Lord [p]God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In [q]repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.” ESV
So many times, I am in tumult. Tumult in mind, tumult in emotions. Even tumult in circumstances. The Lord calls me to repentance, rest, quietness, and trust. “In quietness and trust in your strength” This reminds my heart of: “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 ESV He is there and He saves.
29You will have [aj]songs as in the night when you keep the festival,
And gladness of heart as when one marches to the sound of the flute,
To go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel.
30 And the Lord will cause [ak]His voice of authority to be heard, ESV
“You will have songs in the night…. Gladness of heart… the mountain of the Lord…”
These words speak to my heart of welling, flowing praise and worship to God. Rejoicing, bubbling up… Songs in the night. Lord, grant me songs in the night and gladness of heart. Let me rejoice to hear Your voice of authority and let me be glad to go to the mountain of the Lord! -to go singing and in worship into the holiness of Your Presence.
4 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time[h] and now and forever. Amen. ESV
Serendipitously, in concert with the Spirit- just this week, I shared this doxology with my children- and tried to sing to them a song- from our very first church… the one into which my first four children were born. What a glorious exultation and prayer! You are able, O God! To You be the glory!
Lord, in grace and gentleness, teach me more to trust in You. Mold my heart and open my eyes to see Your work in my life. Help me to know that you are not far off and a day will come when You will say: You have wandered in this wilderness long enough. May I go from strength to strength and make every valley a place of refreshment, bloom, and life. In my heart, may there be a highway to Your Presence. Grant me songs in the night and quietness and rest in You. Help me to teach my children of You and remember the songs of praise and worship that are part of our heritage in You. Lord, thank You.