King David knew these truths in a personal way as he carried the weight and responsibility of a nation on his shoulders. Understanding the impact of his decisions and desiring to do the will of God drove him to prayer before every battle. Even while his men were celebrating their latest victory over the giant Philistines at Baal Perazim (the place of breaking through), King David prayed to his Commander in Chief, the Lord of host, for his next strategic move. In answer to his prayer he was divinely instructed to have his army circle around and come up behind the Philistines who were regrouping in the Valley of Baca, which means weeping. There they were to wait until they heard the “sound of a going” in the tops of the weeping or mulberry trees. (2 Samuel 5:24 KJV) By hearing this sound they would know that the Lord and His host of angel armies had gone before them to secure the victory. Their obedience to these instructions determined their great victory. Not only did they remove the Philistine giants from the valley, but they pressed on in victory through the enemy’s military camp pushing them all the way back to their hometown of Geza. (See 2 Samuel 5:22-25 and 2 Chronicles 14:14-15) With great celebration and in honor of what the Lord had done on their behalf, King David and his chosen men set out “to bring up…the ark of God which is called by … the very name of the Lord of hosts...”—Jehovah Sabaoth, Commander in Chief of the angel armies of Heaven. (2 Samuel 6:2) Such was the victory of the Lord of hosts on David’s behalf!
As I traveled to paint “Wind in the Mulberries,” I realized that this same Lord of hosts was going before me. The message became clear when I realized the license plate of the slow-moving car in front of me read “ARK.” In reflection, I remembered that the ark of God was “called by the name of the Lord of hosts.” (2 Samuel 6:2 NASB) Then I saw the heavens begin to fill up with clouds that looked like angel’s wings advancing ahead of me in military formation. The closer I got to my destination in Port Wentworth, Georgia the more their numbers increased. At the historical marker for one of Georgia’s original mulberry tree plantations, the sky grew dark and the wind began to whip through the treetops. Something supernatural was taking place. The strategy of heaven was unfolding one mile from my destination. As I painted this very occurrence on canvas with the Lord of hosts coming in the clouds above, prayers were being earnestly prayed for Georgia’s past, present and future.
Why? Because, in the original founding of Georgia, not everything went according to God’s perfect plan. James Oglethorpe, a man of good intent, requested and received King George of England’s permission to establish the prosperous colony of Georgia. His plan was to plant mulberry trees and raise silkworms. What should have been a prosperous endeavor failed. Due to the cold winters, many of the mulberry trees died. When his plan failed the colony’s slave-free charter went back to King George who rewrote the laws to permit slavery. Eventually, Oglethorpe went home and died a pauper. To sum it up, the Georgia colony and those affected by this turn of events went from prosperity to poverty, liberty to slavery, and life to death. This, of course, was not God’s plan. His plan was and is always that we live in victory, prospering with abundant life, liberty, and hope for the future.
Barren Hannah of the Bible believed this about God’s good plans for his people. For that reason, she went to the temple to pray. In response to her cries for His help, God revealed himself to her as Jehovah Sabaoth. This was the first recorded time in history that God introduced Himself by the name of Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of hosts. It was not to a king or to a warrior but to a barren, dejected, and ridiculed Hannah. Imagine that! Our God, like the God of Hannah and David, hears us when we cry out and pray to Him. He even goes before us with His angel armies to secure the victory for us. Where there has been defeat, barrenness, poverty, oppression, or even death, He brings life. With God, nothing is impossible.
Even as Hannah went to the temple to pray, many had come to the church in Port Wentworth, Georgia to pray. Among them, I was painting “Wind in the Mulberry Trees” with its image of Jehovah Sabaoth’s face coming through a heavenly portal. Angel’s wings surrounded the portal and wind was shown whipping through the trees on the canvas. The composition and the location were clearly part of God’s perfect plan for the day. While I painted, God was moving many to deep intercession with tearful repentance before God and each other. On the canvas, their tearful prayers seemed to moisten the dry, brown, barren ground beneath the trees. Then shades of green began to emerge. Several months later, I painted the rain which simultaneously began to fall outside my studio window. Soon the leaves of the trees began to weep. As the rain fell and the trees wept (both on and off canvas), the saturated land began to respond with life. I asked the Lord about this and He replied, “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 the following:
With these thoughts of prayers and tears healing our land, I contemplated painting pools of blessing and refreshing in the landscape. I asked the Lord for direction and His response was precious to me. “Look, they are in my eyes,” He said. The pools of refreshing—like the Fishpools of Hesbon known for their clearness, brightness and serenity—are in His eyes. 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 our grief. In His eyes, we see His perfect love that covers a multitude of sins and casts out all fears. In His eyes, one can find the peace that passes all understanding. In every valley and every battle, He tells us to wait on Him and to “offer up prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him [Christ] from death” (Hebrews 5:7). Because of His great love for us and our reverent submission to Him, He sees, hears, and responds. (Hebrews 5:7) Our tearful prayers are as precious pearls to Him. Not one is shed in vain. According to His word, there will even be a reaping of joy!
Just as Hannah and King David’s real-life stories testify of this, so do the many others who have gone before us. This great cloud of witnesses is waiting and watching from heaven as we finish the race they so faithfully began under the influence and power of God’s Holy Spirit. Just under the Holy Spirit’s wing (represented by the dove), is painted 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 with 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 reigned in Hannah’s, David’s, and William’s day is still reigning today and He wants us to seek Him—to call on Him by His mighty name, Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of the angel armies.
I heard the Lord say, “Where there has been barrenness, defeat, and even death—this is the time for advancement and angels are gathering to assist us to fulfill His mandate. 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 expectation and weep with tears of intercession until it becomes a spring of blessing. And when you hear the sound of going in the heavens… Go forth into the victory bringing in the harvest with joy!
More Personal Notes from the Artist:
*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)