The Valley of Bacca
A Sermon on the Valley of Bacca from Psalm 84:5-7
5¶Blessed is the person whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the roads to Zion!
6Passing through the Valley of Baca they make it a spring;
The early rain also covers it with blessings.
7They go from strength to strength,
Every one of them appears …
5Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
6Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
7They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion …
Repentance prepares the highway for people to come into the presence of the Lord. They need substance and direction for life; not only repentance, but regeneration. From where does such a thing come? In this sermon on Psalm 84:5–7 titled “The Valley of Bacca,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones looks at Christ as the source of encouragement for the believer, despite the circumstances he or she might find themselves in. The result of such a faith is a clear view of life as a whole, and of self in relation to God. Are the pains of life the result of others’ faults or one’s own sin? Find purpose and direction for life, rather than living in a state of selfish chaos. God withholds nothing good from those who walk uprightly. Does one have a road to follow when calamity and trials come? It is in this valley of Bacca, one of tears and sorrow, that this psalmist’s joy springs to life. Learn to rejoice, even in the valley of Bacca. Let troubles make the Christian consider the goodness of God and cause rejoicing; praise Him, He has overcome the world!
- The psalmist is celebrating the glories and wonders of the truly religious life.
- The essence of true religion is to know God, not just know about Him. It is to address Him as "my king and my God."
- God can only be known at His altars, specifically through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
- The first benefit of true religion is that it gives us a place of rest, safety, peace and protection. We can "lay our young" there.
- The second benefit is that it brings order into our lives. The heart of the irreligious man is like a "pathless wilderness."
- Christianity gives us a clear view of life and a new way of thinking. "We have the mind of Christ."
- Christianity gives us a sense of purpose and direction. Life becomes a pilgrimage.
- Christianity gives us a system of living and discipline. There are "ways" or moral rules to follow.
- Christianity enables us to rejoice even in tribulation. We can turn the "valley of Baca" into a well.
- The secret is that troubles drive us to God, and closeness to God brings joy.
- We can rejoice in affliction because we know it is temporary, and eternal glory awaits.
- God never changes, even when circumstances do. We can trust in His fullness.
- The offer of Christianity is an amazing one - understanding, discipline and a blessed hope.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.