Day 26 | February Devotional from Psalms - "Pilgrims or Travelers?" Part One

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalm 84:5-7 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.

It is one thing to do something for yourself. It is another thing to do something that benefits the lives of others and your posterity. A PILGRIM is someone who moves with purpose to leave a legacy. A TRAVELER is someone who wants to enjoy the view and have a good time. Both are moving, but the key question  is: Are you a pilgrim or a traveler? 

David describes a blessed person as one whose strength is in God and whose heart is set on pilgrimage. Today, we can hardly relate to a pilgrimage. In Hebrew tradition, they would travel to Jerusalem on occasions to participate in gatherings called feasts or holy days. 

Those special occasions included:
The Feast of PASSOVER  (Leviticus 23:5)
The feast of UNLEAVENED BREAD  (Leviticus 23:6)
The feast of FIRST FRUITS  (Leviticus 23:10,11)
The feast of PENTECOST  (Leviticus 23:17)
The feast of TRUMPETS (Leviticus 23:24)
The feast of ATONEMENT (Leviticus 23:27)
The feast of TABERNACLES  (Leviticus 23:34)

The journey to attend these holy convocations was called a "pilgrimage." Unlike our modes of travel today, traveling in ancient times was difficult. Making the journey required one's heart to be set on the purpose of the mission. I can only compare ancient pilgrimages to the challenge of traveling to Nigeria and Kenya Africa on six occasions for missions trips, as well as the difficulty of travel in-country. These are only places for people whose hearts are set on pilgrimage and purpose.

Commitment of heart is necessary because of this statement, "As they pass through the Valley of Baca."  This valley is a place of tears because of difficulty. Every important pursuit such as attending college, getting married, starting a business, raising children, and more involves "valleys" of challenge and tears. All the more reason to place your strength in God and set your heart for purpose. 

A mere "traveler" will want to quit and bail out, because he seeks pleasure and self-gratification. However, the good outcomes of purpose and pilgrimage are more than worth the challenges!

(More insights in Part Two of this lesson)

Listen to the sermon from Sunday, January 24, “From Strength to Strength”


Reflection Question: What Valleys of Baca have you encountered on the way to your purpose? What did you learn?

Today’s action item based on insight: