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The Valley of Baca


“Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also fills the pools.” Psalm 84:6

This last week I’ve been studying & researching the valley of Baca. Know what I found out? There isn’t much to ‘find’…

I really wanted to find a specific location…a photo perhaps, but quickly found out there is none to be found. The valley of Baca is believed to have been ‘somewhere’ in Lebanon, referred to as Bekah. Its possible; for the actual ‘Bekah’, though it is today fertile, the valley itself, is surrounded by mountainous ranges, which are barren, dry and rocky. One interesting fact is the word itself- Baca- is translated from the Hebrew root which means weeping.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary had this to say;

Valley of Baca: “valley of weeping,” marg., “or balsam trees”, probably a valley in some part of Palestine, or generally some one of the valleys through which pilgrims had to pass on their way to the sanctuary of Jehovah on Zion; or it may be figuratively “a valley of weeping.”

Turning to my copy of Pilgrims Progress, I also came across a reference to this ‘place’ in book 2-


“Then said Mercy, I think I am as well in this Valley as I have been anywhere else in all our Journey, the place methinks suits with my spirit. I love to be in such places where there is no rattling with Coaches, nor rumbling with Wheels.

Methinks here one may without much molestation, be thinking what he is, whence he came, what he has done, and to what the King has called him.

Here one may think, and break at heart, and melt in one’s spirit, until one’s eyes become like the Fishpools of Heshbon.

They that go rightly through this Valley of Baca make it a Well, the Rain that God sends down from Heaven upon them that are here also filleth the Pools. This Valley is that from whence also the King will give to their vineyards, and they that go through it shall sing, as Christian did for all he met with Apollyon” – Pilgrims Progress, the second part- 383

After searching through the bible and other references, I’m convinced its a very real place; I may not be able to pin-point a location, because its a spiritual place we as Christians will have to travel through before we reach Zion. Notice it says we “pass through”…that doesn’t mean we pitch a tent and claim residence, but we learn while traveling through it, and keep moving.

That’s good to know.

Christian’s wife above, say’s our eyes become like ‘fish-pools’ in this place.

Sir Walter Scott said: “Our sources of common pleasure dry up as we journey on through the vale of Bacha”

This place along the journey is one of deep repentance which can only be brought about by humiliation and bitter tears. Weeping which wrenches the very soul, because we ‘see ourselves’ for what we really are: Sinners who rightfully deserve God’s wrath, proud, self dependent men and women who are in themselves nothing–and that owe ALL to Christ.

It, this place of the valley of Baca, is a dying place. A place where all selfish ambitions are left on the barren rocky plains of what first appears, to be a place of no water, no ‘rain’. We thirst in this place…Yes we do. We cry out to God for relief, believing we will perish.

BUT the word says;

“Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also fills the pools”

‘make it a well’… How do we do that? We allow the Holy Spirit to dig deep.

We submit to God totally in this place and allow Him through the Holy Spirit, to shine a search light into the deep recesses of our heart, to ‘dig deep’ within our souls…rooting out those things which we have held on to, which were all ‘selfish desires’.

And the ‘rain’ which will fill the pools? Its our tears of deep repentance.

I love how Bunyan put it, coming from ‘Mrs. Christian’..

“Methinks here one may without much molestation, be thinking what he is, whence he came, what he has done, and to what the King has called him.

Here one may think, and break at heart, and melt in one’s spirit, until one’s eyes become like the Fishpools of Heshbon…”

‘She’ saw it as a good place! A place to finally, away from the clamor of the world, ponder on who we really are, where God brought us from, what He has already done in our lives, and, to ‘what’ He has called us to be doing. That’s a positive attitude if I ever saw one!

Anyway, these are just a few words on the topic of the Valley of Baca.

All the valley’s mentioned in the Word of God, for me, hold a deep significance;

I think we can learn something from each of them.

This little poem by Betty Carolyn Nelms gives me a good prospective on this valley…It reminds me that yes, we will pass through it, but we will also TAKE something away from it as well. Something good. Also, that through all valley’s, Jesus is there with us, step by step….

We’ve never fully realized that, Our tears are never shed in vain. For we can draw them from our well of Experience to soothe another’s pain.“PASSING THROUGH” the Valley of Baca, We find many foot prints in the sand. An unending ministry of empathy, that’s been touched by the Master’s hand

7 comments on “The Valley of Baca

  1. Makkah, the holy city of Islam.. is also known as Bakkah, and that’s how it is mentioned in the Quran, please see:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakkah

  2. That was really good. Thanks!! When I first heard The Valley of Baca I thought of a dry desert. When I read the passage from your story, The Valley of Baca seems like the Valley of Restoration!! Michelle

  3. very excellent , I just read this passage in Morning and Evening Devotion, by Charles Spurgeon, Read and re read, and wanted to know where Baca was and it’s signifigance to the scripture. So this is a great read. Thank you. psalm 84:6 there is a lot to ponder.

  4. @mohammed: Bakkah, as mentioned in the Quran can not refer to Mecca. The proceeding word ‘MuBaraka’ clearly indicates that it was in the Blessed Land (i.e. Palestine) which we can see from the context of the word Baraka (Moses goes to…).

    The fact that the Quran addresses it as a Physical Location, same as the Psalm, clearly indicates that at least until the 7th Century people knew about it. I think the one in Lebanon is the actual location (Maqam Ibrahim).

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