“Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
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.”
What do you picture when you envision a strong person?
Perhaps you think of someone who can bench press 150 pounds at the gym, or a person who can run a marathon.
Maybe you think of someone who is emotionally strong, like a person who stands up to tough situations and handles a time of crisis without having a breakdown.
As we read Psalm 84, it’s interesting to note that vs. 7 tells us people of God go from “strength to strength.” What does it mean to go from strength to strength? I love the picture of moving from one strength to the next. I want that in my life. How is it possible?
As we dig further into God’s Word, we discover several different meanings in this rich text. One way we gain strength as we journey toward Zion (heaven) is from other Christians who are also on the same journey. It’s such an awesome picture to envision all of us joining together, our mass growing larger with each step of the way, as we journey to heaven together! There is encouragement in our numbers. I gain strength when I gather together with other Christians in church or Bible study on a regular basis to worship God. Life on earth is hard. We need to gather and encourage each other. Psalm 122:1-2 says,
“I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!
2 Our feet have been standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem!”
John 1:16 tells us, “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” As Christians who continue on our journey, God gives us strength upon strength, and grace upon grace along the way. What is grace upon grace? Does God pile one grace on top of the other, like a pile of Christmas gifts? No, not exactly. A careful translation of the original text could be, “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.” The next verse further explains. John 1:17 says, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” The first grace was the gift of the law – a good gift for us. The second grace was Jesus Christ, who redeemed us from our sinful state.
All of this to say, God gave us the ultimate strength upon strength, when he gave us the gift of Jesus. God did not leave us alone in our sin, and He does not leave us alone in our daily struggles. Someday, we will be with God in heaven where we will have true strength and victory together with Jesus, the Lamb of God who has taken away the sins of the world!
Lord God, Any strength I have comes from You. Let me never try to rely on my own strength, but rest in You. Thank you for the many gifts you give me each day that take me from strength to strength. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.