“When you hear the sound of marching in the top of the mulberry trees…”
Praise Yah. How often he must smile as he sees our look of bewilderment when He tells us to do something – but so often to us, what we think He’s saying to us makes no sense.
Faith is the evidence of things not seen. What we must see is the presence of God Most High in our troubles. Oh, we clearly see the trouble. But are we learning to more clearly see our great and awesome God in us, around us, above us and with us? Are we? I know I sure have a lot to learn yet on this score.
Some of the things YHVH has told his people to do almost make one chuckle. But will we do what he says when push comes to shove?
The title of this blog comes from a story of David and his fighting men. David had inquired of YHVH as to the best next step, the battle plan for his men as they were about to fight the Philistines.
1 Chronicles 14:13-17
Then the Philistines once again made a raid on the valley. 14 Therefore David inquired again of God, and God said to him, "You shall not go up after them; circle around them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees.
15 And it shall be, when you hear a sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines."
16 So David did as God commanded him, and they drove back the army of the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer. 17 Then the fame of David went out into all lands, and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.
Now imagine how David’s commanders felt and what they thought when David comes back with the battle plan: “Guys, we have to wait until we hear the angels marching at the top of those trees over there, and when we do, then we can attack. God wants to clear the way for us first”. Verse 16 is our lesson: “So David DID as God commanded him…”.
Would we have? ARE you and I first of all inquiring of God, then waiting to hear his instructions – and for that matter ARE we even hearing God’s words or voice? I do have a 3-part sermon on “Hearing God’s Voice” that I recommend you listen to. It has changed my prayer life since I prepared and gave that series. Go to February 2009 and you’ll find the series there. There are many helpful sermons if you look at the timeless topics from years past.
In much the same way as David’s experience, Joshua told Israel the battle plan for conquering Jericho. “Hey everyone, we’re going to circle the city quietly once every day for 6 days, and then 7 times on the 7th day. Then, upon my command, we blow the shofar ram’s horn trumpets and all of us shout. And guess what? Those thick walls you see over there are going to fall flat and we’ll run in and catch them by surprise and quickly take the city.”
We know the story today – but imagine looking at the thick walls and the fighting men of valor along the tops of those walls looking down at you as you all circle the city. I wonder how many of those ancient Israelites really believed the battle plan. Well they did. They obeyed and trusted in faith – and the rest is now history!
Our Father so often asks us directly, or through Christ, or through His Word to do things that seem unearthly – because they are! He’s in heaven and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts. He has all power and wants us to believe, wants us to trust him, wants us to step out and obey in faith. In the rough times coming, we better get used to living and walking by faith, because that might very well be your life or death--whether we believe or not. From beginning to end, men and women of God were told “strange” things at times that ended in marvelous outcomes when they trusted – and obeyed what they were being told to do. (Of course don’t forget to test or check the source and be sure it’s God or His spirit giving you the directions or strong thoughts. See 1 John 4:1)
- Gideon’s revealed battle plan involved torches hidden inside pitchers, and 300 men with shofars. Imagine how that sounded! But Gideon and his 300 men obeyed, stepped out in faith and God gave them a great victory.
- Peter was called out to walk on water to Jesus. And for a few moments, he did! As long as he believed, another man besides Yeshua actually walked on water. Once he let reason and logic enter in (“this is not normal or natural, and the waves are high and the wind is strong”), he began to sink. Much like a young boy or girl learning to ride a bike without the training wheels. To them, that’s much akin to stepping out of the safety of the boat into the storm. Walk on water? Impossible. And yet we have a record of two men who did. Peter DID leave the safety of the boat and obeyed the call.
- Yeshua was constantly doing things like this. Another time he told Peter to pay the temple tax by catching the first fish he can and inside he find the exact coin needed in the fish’s mouth!
- Or the time they were catching no fish at all and the Carpenter tells fishermen to cast on the other side of the boat – and presto! They could hardly haul in the catch. But they did what he said. There’s a lesson there too.
The Bible is replete with accounts like these. The point of this blog is this: The time is coming when you and I will also be asked to do what seems to be impossible. We’ll have to remember at such times what scripture tells us: With Christ, all things are possible (Philippians 4:13).
What will be our equivalent of walking on water, of waiting to hear the marching in the mulberry trees, or confidently attacking our own giant problem (remember Goliath?) with confidence of victory while the giant problem still stands before us?
Those stories aren’t there just for bedtime stories for the kiddies – but for YOU and for ME to understand GOD WANTS US TO TRUST HIM and do what He tells us. He wants us stepping out in faith because we trust Him. And we trust Him because we KNOW Him and His love for us.
So when you hear your own equivalent of the sound of marching in the top of the mulberry trees of your life, you’ll know what to do, right?