From Strength to Strength

by J. Randal Matheny, editor
Traveling is tiring. As helpful as modern contraptions like the automobile and airplane are, taking a trip still tuckers me out!
Psalm 84 presents the traveler going up to the temple in Jerusalem to participate in one of the feasts.
“They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion” (Psalm 84:7 NIV).
By extension, the verse above has something to say to the Christian who walks toward eternity and the presence of God.
First, the objective of our seeking is God himself. We want to present ourselves before him, putting our lives at his service, living in his shade, enjoying fellowship with him. Zion is where God “lives,” where his presence may be known, the place of revelation. In obedience, in the body of Christ, in our devotion to him, we will find God waiting for us.
Second, instead of getting tired during the trip, the traveler acquires greater and greater strength. The phrase “from strength to strength” may mean one of two things.
One, that each day a new strength comes to allow him to continue his journey toward God — his strength is renewed daily.
Or it may mean that his strength grows with each step he takes. It might even mean both, do you suppose? (Compare 2 Corinthians 3:18, “from glory to glory,” and John 1:16, “grace upon grace.”)
Third, this journey is a real possibility for everyone. “Each” will appear before God. No traveler need fall by the wayside. No one will be forced to drop out while the others step their way to the final destiny.
This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to fall from God’s grace and lose one’s salvation. It does mean that every person who begins the journey and perseveres will find strength to complete it.
It’s good to know that, as tired as I may feel when I travel, it’s always possible to reach my goal of arriving in God’s presence.
What a celebration that will be when I get there!

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