The walk of faith in God is a pilgrimage. For Abraham, the father of the faithful, his pilgrimage began the day he “obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). It is said of he and Sarah that they “died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13).
Psalm 84 pronounces a beatitude on anyone who decides to live the pilgrim life of faith. It is written, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage” (v. 5). In addition, this composition of one of Korah’s sons states several descriptors of the extraordinary person in your company when walking by faith. These are:
- The Lord of hosts (vv. 1, 3, 8, 12). The word “hosts” denotes an innumerable army of angelic soldiers. “The Lord God is a sun and shield” to those who walk uprightly with Him (v. 11), because of His immense power. If just two angels could protect Lot and his household from a mob of Sodomites who wanted to do violence to them (Genesis 19:9-11), imagine what an innumerable army of angels could do in protecting a pilgrim.
- The God of Jacob (v. 8). This phrase speaks of Jehovah’s faithfulness to His word and His people. God’s promise to Abraham (Genesis 22:18) was repeated to Isaac (Genesis 26:4) which was repeated to Jacob (Genesis 28:14). God gave His word to Jacob, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you” (Genesis 28:15); God kept His word. The thunderous echo throughout Scripture is: God is faithful; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Pilgrims believe this truth and act accordingly.
- The living God (v. 2). Unlike the gods of the heathen who have: mouths but cannot speak, eyes but cannot see, ears but cannot hear, noses but cannot smell, hands but cannot touch, feet but cannot walk, our God is in heaven and He does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:2-7). He cannot be put in a box; He does not need to be transported by His followers; He does not grow old or decay. From everlasting to everlasting, He lives.
- My King and my God (v. 3). The sweetest blessings of Jehovah are reserved for those who sanctify Him in their hearts. Their wills bow submissively and joyfully unto His. Their longing is for what He desires and wills. He is sovereign in their lives—by choice, not force. Their pilgrimage will end when they arrive in the city “which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).
“O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!”