With this, David was well acquainted. He had just defeated the Philistines at Baal Perazim under the Lord of hosts command. Now the Philistines had regrouped in the Valley of Rephaim, also known as the Valley of Baca or Weeping. Being one with a heart after God and not inclined to lean on his own wisdom or past experience, David, once again, sought his trustworthy, faithful, and all knowing Commander in Chief. For this new battle, the strategy was not to go directly into battle, but to circle around and come up behind the enemy in front of the baca or balsam, which also, means weeping trees. Some versions of the Bible refer to them as the mulberry trees. Upon hearing a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, David was to go quickly into battle. The sound of going was to be a sign to him that the Lord had gone before him to strike the host of the Philistines and secure the victory. In complete obedience, David did exactly as the Lord commanded and was able, not only, to remove the giants from the valley, but to strike them down from Geba, their garrison city, to Geza, where they lived. (See 2 Samuel 5:22-25 and 2 Chronicles 14:14-15) Rejoicing in what the Lord had done, David gathered his chosen men and went “to bring up…the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of hosts...,” Jehovah Sabaoth, Commander in Chief of the angel armies of Heaven. (2 Samuel 6:2)
As I traveled to Port Wentworth, Georgia to paint “Wind in the Mulberry Trees” it appeared the Lord of hosts and the angel armies were going before me. I got the message when a car pulled right in front of me with a license tag that read “ARK.” When I remembered that the ark of God was called the Lord of hosts, I was in speechless. Then the heavens began fill up with clouds that looked like angel wings advancing ahead of me in military formation. The closer I got the port city the numbers increased. About a mile from where I was to paint (near an historical marker for one of the original mulberry tree plantations in Georgia) the sky grew dark and the wind began to whip through the trees all around the area. It was a God moment and I felt I was about to participate in the opening of a heavenly portal for God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. I believe, He and His angel armies were already striking the giants in the land and securing the victory for His glory to return to the land.
You see, in the founding of Georgia like so many new beginnings, things did not go according to God’s plan. James Oglethorpe had received permission from King George of England to establish a colony in Georgia based on Oglethorpe’s plan to plant mulberry trees and raise silkworms. It was to be a prosperous endeavor but many of the original trees did not survive and his plan failed. The colony and its charter and laws, which prohibited slavery, went back to King George who rewrote them to permit slavery. Oglethorpe went home and died a pauper. As history records it, Georgia and those it affected went from prosperity to poverty, liberty to slavery, and life to death. This, of course, was not God’s plan. His plan is, always, that we prosper and be in health, and have abundant life, liberty and a hope for the future.
Hannah knew this about God and His desire for us, so she went to the temple in the midst of her barrenness and defeat. There she cried out to the only one who could help her and, for the first time ever, God reveals Himself in the Bible as Jehovah Sabaoth. It wasn’t to a king or to a warrior but to a barren, dejected, and ridiculed Hannah. Imagine that! Where there is barrenness, poverty, oppression and/or death, we cry out to Him, He hears, He secures the victory for us, and brings life. (See 1 Samuel 1) It’s true, nothing is impossible with God!
So, there I was in a church like Hannah, in the midst of a prayer gathering, near one of the first mulberry plantations at Port Wentworth, painting Jehovah Sabaoth. The Lord of hosts’ face coming through a portal in the sky surrounded by a multitude of angel’s wings as the wind whipped through the treetops on the canvas. While I painted others were in deep intercession and tearful repentance before God and each other. As a result of this, it seemed the dry, brown, and barren ground beneath the trees began to moisten and manifest shades of green. Several months later, as I continued to wait on the Lord and work on the painting, the rain came onto the canvas and the leaves of the trees began to weep. It was as if the land was becoming so saturated it was beginning to respond with life. I sought the Lord about the rain and the weeping and He said, “Your tears are as precious pearls to me. They are like seeds of intercession sown. Not one of them shed before me is wasted.” And I remembered...
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
”Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5-6).
“How blessed is the man whose strength is in You; in whose heart are the highways of Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; the early rain covers it with blessings! They go from strength to strength; every one of them appears before God in Zion” (Psalm 84:5-7).
The character, Mercy, in the second part of Pilgrim’s Progress, says about the Valley of Baca, “Here one may think, and break at heart, and melt in one’s spirit until one’s eyes become like the Fishpools of Hesbon…. 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."*
After reading this quote and the scriptures, I wondered if I was supposed to paint these pools of refreshing, as some bible versions call them, in the landscape of the painting. I asked the Lord about it and His response was astounding. He said to me, “Look, they are in my eyes.” How wonderful is that? The pools of refreshing, like the Fishpools of Hesbon, known for their clearness, brightness and serenity are in His eyes. You see, even in the weeping, He has gone before us. He was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” and yes, “Jesus wept.” (Isaiah 53:3 and John 11:35) He knows what we are going through and He knows what we need. In His eyes we find rest, restoration and refreshing for our pain and grief. Most of all, we find His perfect love that covers a multitude of sins, casts out all fears, and brings with it the peace that passes all understanding. In the midst of the valley, facing battle after battle with the giants in our lives, He says wait. In the waiting, like Christ, we “offer up prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death” and we are heard because of our reverent submission and His love. (Hebrews 5:7) Our tearful prayers are as precious pearls to Him. Not one is shed in vain and His word says there will be a reaping of Joy!
Hannah and David’s lives testify of this as do so many others who have gone before us and are now part of that great cloud of witnesses who are waiting and watching as we finish the race they so faithfully began through the former outpourings of the power of the Holy Spirit of God. Represented in the painting, just under the dove or Holy Spirit’s wing, is just one of these great witnesses, William Branham. In his time, he too, heard a powerful sound of wind blowing in the treetops and with it the voice of God calling him to run a peculiarly, powerful, spirit-led race of supernatural signs and wonders in miracles and divine healings. As he looks intently ahead for what’s to come, the Lord of hosts, Jehovah Sabaoth, is tenderly holding William’s face in the palm of His hand as if to say, “Everything will be all right.” The same Lord who rained and reigned in Hannah and David and William’s day is still raining and reigning and over us. He wants us to seek Him and call on Him by His mighty name, Jehovah Sabaoth.
I heard the Lord say, “Where there has been barrenness and defeat and even death this is the time for advancement and angels are gathering to assist us to fulfill His mandate." And that this is our door of opportunity to accomplish what those who have gone before us could not finish. As we go forth, it will be all about God and His people moving together with His heavenly host to complete what He began. I also heard, “The angels are locking wings like shields over and around us.”
So...Wait on the Lord with hopeful expectancy and weep with tears of intercession until it becomes a spring and when you hear the sound of going in the heavens, go forth into victory - bringing in the harvest with joy!
Personal Notes from the Artist:
One day, while working through the stages of grief by cleaning off my children’s trampoline in the woods, I laid down on it exhausted. From that perspective, I could see that the large gnarly mulberry tree in our yard that I’d thought was dead was actually full of leaves high up in the canopy of the other trees. It was only in laying down and looking up that I could see them.
A few weeks before the prayer meeting and the painting, I was having another difficult day and heard the Lord instructing me to go outside and swing. Eventually, I did and right in front of me, what I’d thought for years to be a weed, was yet another mulberry tree and another message to wait on and hope in Jehovah Sabaoth.
I asked the Lord when He wanted me to begin this painting and was directed to look at the addresses of the two scripture references for the wind or going in the treetops. They were 2 Samuel 5:24 and 2 Chronicles 14:15. I did the math and saw that each chapter and verse added up to 29 which was the exact date of prayer gathering. That was a first for me.
The day I wrote this article, the skies became dark like a thick blanket coming down from heaven and the winds came and stayed in an unusually powerful way. There was definitely a sound of goings in the treetops.
*Pilgrim's Progress, p.383.
By, Ginger E. Mosher
© All rights reserved by Ginger E. Mosher
Wind in the Mulberry Trees
Wait…Wait…Wait on the Lord of Hosts with hopeful expectation.
Let your hope be renewed in body, soul and spirit.
Stand still and see the victory of the Lord on your behalf.
The timing and plans of the Lord are always perfect.
(See Isaiah 40:31, 2 Chronicles 20:17, and Ecclesiastes 3:11)