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22nd February: Highways to Zion

Blessed are the men whose strength is in thee, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. Psalm 84:5

In the United States, freeways are often named for the city in which they terminate. this is reasonable, for the destination of the road is of primary importance to travellers. A highway derives its value from its ability to help people reach their destination. Not only the size of the entryway and width of road are important, Jesus warned, but whether the road leads to destruction or to life. Korah's sons, who gave us Psalm 84, wrote of highways that are available to each of us, heavenly highways that take us to Zion. Pilgrims along the psalmist's heavenly highway will one day appear before God. the destination is secure.

But it is not only the destination that is important; how our time is spent on the trip is also of some value. As the highway of Psalm 84 passed through an uninviting, sorrowful valley, it brought abundant blessing. travellers on the heavenly highway need never be alone. God offers companionship to all who pass this way, and this companionship gives comfort. 'Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death', Kind David wrote, 'I fear no evil; for thou art with me; they rod and they staff, they comfort me' (Ps 23:4)

Just what are these 'highways to Zion'? We can equate them with the timeline of our life and relate that to the New Testament injunctions to 'walk worthy' and 'walk circumspectly'. But I am not sure that this is what Korah's sons had in mind when they wrote the 84th Psalm. They wrote of highways in an individual's heart, and they associated this with having strength in God. Ours is not a pitiful pilgrimage to get to God; we are on a joyful journey with him.

Someday, I shall live with God. that destination is secure. But even now, as I live on earth, I share personally with him day by day. Within my heart, I have highways of communication with him, and he has supply routes to provide for me. Whether at home or in a foreign land, my task is simply to keep the highways open.

Further reading: Ps 84:5-7. Mt 7:13-14. Heb 11:1-16.

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