Psalm 84 is full of clues to pursuing and prizing the presence of God. So far I have got to verse 6:
Psalm 84:6 As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
As we seek pursue and prize the presence of God we bring water to dry places, light to dark places, life to barren places. God’s presence is like light and water and life. Light is not simply the opposite of darkness. Water is not simply the opposite of dryness. Life is not simply the opposite of inert matter. These are things of substance. Their opposites speak of lack, something is missing. When light comes, darkness is expelled, where water flows the desert is hydrated. This verse tells us that as we dwell in the presence of God we will bring light and life and refreshing to places of darkness, drying and death. These things will not snuff us out or wear us down. Darkness cannot dim the light but light can illuminate the shadows.
One cannot help but see the Holy Spirit here. Jesus said “come to me and drink”. He was talking about the third person of the trinity who Jesus said would fall down upon us and bubble up within us. The prophet Ezekiel foresaw a temple with a stream flowing from it that turned into a river and brought life to the land around it. God’s dwelling place is a source of life and since he dwells amoung his people the church should be/can be a source of blessing to those around it.
For me there has always been something mysteriouse andexciting about the biblical terms “early rains” and “latter rains“. In the middle east the early rains were in autumn in October and November (some say this is when they planted most crops) and the later rains were in spring in February and March (presumably when they grew and ripened for harvest). Good harvests depended on both rains coming. There is so much said about this vivid picture and much controversy around it that I quickly got bogged down when I looked into it. I will blog on it more later but for now I just want to enjoy the picture of God raining down water on his people as they seek his presence. There they are, walking through a dry valley, the heavens open, and rain pours down. Difficult times, oposition, disaster, sickness – none of these things can seperate us from God; in fact quite the oposite! Pools form around us and life springs up. Wherever the people of God seek his face God pours out his Spirit. There I’ve said it. It’s about his Spirit! I wonder if in fact God leads his people into dark places so as to bring life to them through his poeple. Open the heavens and rain down again Lord!