A J-BAR PRAYER
Father, we come before you now on bended knee, hoping to honor you with our integrity. Please make our judgement as sound as steel and be our hands upon the wheel. Give us strength and vigilance on our routes and help us to serve others, as You did, Lord, without any doubts. Remind us to be gentle, humble and kind, and help us when we stumble in body and mind. Please shelter our families whilst we are away and bring us safely back to them at the end of this day.
Listen to this week’s devotional on The J Bar Experience Podcast!
Numbers 32:9 – “For when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the Lord had given them.”
I love the language of the Bible. God uses every word on purpose, for a purpose. I don’t know if you caught it, but there is a phrase that is very interesting to me in that verse. It says they went up unto the valley. A valley by definition is a low point between two high points.
So any time we think about a valley, I don’t normally associate going up to the valley. We usually use language like I went down to the valley. And that is significant to me because valleys a lot of the time are associated with low points in our eyes. Times when we struggle or face hardship, or times when maybe we need direction and we don’t know what is going on. Times when we are low mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
The reason that God said they went up to this particular valley was that this valley wasn’t meant to bring them low. It was meant to be an encouragement to them. He wanted to show them the goodness of the land. And even though they weren’t able to see it and they became discouraged, that was not the intention.
A lot of times when we face valleys, the intention is not to destroy us or bring us harm, but there are things in the valley that can only be found in the valley.
King David wrote the 23 Psalms about a valley.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
This was written at a valley in David’s life, but it was in the valley that he talks about what he found. It was in the valley that he found the protection of God, as God led him beside the still waters. He found the provision of God as God fed his soul, and helped to encourage him.
And he found a greater presence of God in the valley. Mountain top experiences are all great. Times when we are ten feet tall and everything is going our way, the sun is shining, it’s all working out, and it’s awesome.
I’m glad that we get to have those times, but it really is in the valley, where we find what we need the most.
This morning if you are going through a valley I want to encourage you to try to see it not as that low area, but as a place to come up. As a time to find – as God meant for the children of Israel when they went up to that valley – to find courage, to be blessed and to find what only God could provide in the valley.