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In Psalm 84, we are introduced to the Valley of Weeping. In some translations, it is called the Valley of Baca, a Hebrew word that derives from bakah (baw-kaw), meaning to weep, bemoan, bewail, complain, make lamentation, and mourn with tears.

Baca is not a valley we would like to be in, but the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon, declared that Psalm 84 should be called the Pearl of Psalms, saying, “If the 23rd be the most popular, the 103rd the most joyful, the 119th the most deeply experiential, the 51st the most plaintive, this [Psalm 84] is one of the most sweet of the Psalms of Peace.”

The Valley of Baca can be thought of as a “thirsty valley.”  It would have been an arid place where trees and shrubs grow wth little water, and were always thirsting for water.

The Valley of Baca is also considered a sorrow-filled valley. However, it should never be forgotten that when God is present, we can turn our sorrows into blessings.

Rightly Understanding Psalm 84

Psalm 84 is a pilgrim psalm. It speaks of the journey we have on our way to our heavenly home. As we travel through the Valley of Baca, there are hard, difficult, and dark times—times that bring tears to our eyes, pain to our hearts, suffering to our souls, and despair to our minds. 

The psalm reminds us that in such times, we can find strength to persevere in our journey.

Psa 84:5  Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.

The strength needed to make the pilgrimage comes from the Lord, just as Jesus has promised:

2 Cor 12:9  And [Jesus] said to [Paul], “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 

Heb 13:5-6  …[Jesus] said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

The psalm goes on to tell us…

Psa 84:6  As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools.

In the Bible (and always), rain is a blessing. It comes from God and is needed to sustain human life. It waters the earth and settles the dust. And it washes away the dirt and refreshes the weary.

So if a pilgrim, journeying through a valley of sorrow and weeping, will “make it a spring,” the rain (God’s blessing) will come and fill it with berakah (pools).  The word “pools” means benediction (H1288) and, by implication, it means prosperity and blessing.  Therefore, the psalmist tells us, “They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion.” (Psa 84:7)

The Valley of Baca Can \Become a Valley of Vision. 

A Puritan writer wrote about this Psalm, saying, “In the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells, the brighter thy stars shine.”

The wells are filled by God, and in our suffering and weeping, when we trust in Him, He takes us from strength in the Lord to more strength in the Lord.

In our own Valleys of Baca,  God gives…

          • light in our darkness, 
          • comfort in our sorrow, 
          • clarity in our confusion and 
          • hope for the future. 

In the Valley of Baca, we are desperate for God. In our need, we look to Him, and He is faithful to make His presence felt. And, in our weakness, we seek Him, and He is faithful to His promise to be our strength.

Reaching Home

Just as the psalmist wrote about journeying through the Valley of Weeping and reaching Zion, God is faithful to sustain us in all the valleys of life until we reach our home, Heaven. 

God will use our trials, our afflictions, and all our sufferings for His glory and our good.  

In every valley, Jesus lifts us up when we are low, gives us peace in fear and hope in despair, and reminds us that He is ever-present (Psalm 46:1, Heb 13:5). He is our hope that anchors us, our rest that shelters us, and our strength that sustains us and takes us from strength to strength (Psalm 84:7).

Psa 84:11-12  For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.  O LORD of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Jesus alone can turn our Valley of Baca, our Valley of Weeping, into a Valley of Vision that reveals a view of our true and final home.

The Valley of Weeping Poem by Lettie B. Cowman

I’ve been through the valley of weeping, The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the ‘God of all comfort’ was with me, At hand to uphold and sustain.
As the earth needs the clouds and the sunshine, Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace, The dross from the gold to destroy.

When He leads through some valley of trouble, His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us, Are part of His lessons in grace.
Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning, Forgetting the Husbandman knows
That the deeper the cutting and paring, The richer the cluster that grows.

Well He knows that affliction is needed; He has a wise gracious purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers, “Hereafter you will know what I do.”
As we travel through life’s shadowed valley, Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses, Are blessings just sent in disguise.

So we’ll follow wherever He leadeth, Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we’ve proved that our God can give comfort, Our God can give songs in the night!

Click on the Image for a Full-size Printable Poem


  • The point of Psalm 84 is that we are blessed when we find our strength in the Lord and exercise our faith and trust in Him.
  • When we find ourselves in the valley of Baca (weeping, suffering, sorrow), we are to prepare a well, an open receptacle, in our hearts, and God will be faithful to pour out rain and His blessings.
  • In our suffering, God is faithful to provide blessings of growth, peace, direction, and hope. 
  • God will turn our darkness into light, our trials into blessings, our confusion into understanding, and our sadness into the joy of the Lord.
  • We must give up on ourselves and depend on Him alone, whatever the circumstances or confusion.
  • In Christ, we have a supernatural ability to overcome and carry on when we turn to Him and seek refuge and comfort (Heb 6:18) to find the sure and steadfast Hope that anchors our souls (Heb 6:19).  



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***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***  

Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus.  When you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email).

A Room with a View of Eternity—The Last Will & Testament of Jesus Christ   Take a seat at the Master's table. Learn about the riches He gives to all who are His. This book will bless and encourage you, give you hope, and help you live in the joy of your salvation and the riches of Christ that are yours.

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There is much to be learned from those who have gone before us in the faith.  Check out our Cloud of Witnesses category that features the words of departed saints who are now with the Lord in glory.  Their words equip and encourage us even to this day.  Take a few minutes to hear...

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  3. Prayers from Billy Graham
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  8. 24 Reasons Why I Love America, by John Wayne (1907-1979)
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  10. Abide with Me, by James Smith, 1859

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