Dear Friends of The Father’s Love Int’l Ministries,
All week I have been searching for what to say and how to encourage you in this coming year. Today, as I was unloading groceries, I had the sense to look and see what the Lord said last year in closing out 2019 and going into 2020. I was truly blessed to revisit this encounter with the Lord! What He showed me, as well as what He said, brought me great comfort. I pray it does the same for you.
Jewels from Judy: Waiting for Orders
As of late, I’ve had to wrestle to “be still” in order to settle my mind when seeking the Lord. Honestly, the distractions have been overwhelming, and I’ve felt that I must be a disappointment to God. A couple of days ago, I asked the Father in prayer how to deal with not only my attitude but the continual disruptions (internally as well as externally) while waiting to receive His direction.
I closed my eyes as I prayed and suddenly got a picture of myself on a beach. No one else was around. I threw a rock into the ocean, then sat down and hung my head in discouragement. I felt the Lord’s comforting arm come around me and He said, “Sometimes waiting for the Father’s orders can be stressful, even vexing.” I sensed His kind, compassionate eyes upon me and knew He wouldn’t try to placate me or say that everything is fine the way it is – because it isn’t! I knew that Jesus, by His Spirit, would tell me what I needed to hear.
The Scriptures tell us that Jesus also had to wait, and I imagine it would have been frustrating for Him too, so I asked, “How did you deal with it, Lord?”
He simply stated, “I had a lot of hidden years. Abba Father will wait for at least these two reasons: His perfect timing and your preparation. The prep work is the most important thing you can do as you wait. If it is not done correctly, then the project fails.”
I thought about prep work for a meal or a home-fix-it project. Preparation usually takes the longest time for either, but it is vital to a successful outcome. I also thought about the five foolish virgins in Matthew 25 that failed to prepare for the anticipated bridegroom. Because they hadn’t invested in what was needed, the door to the kingdom was closed to them! The Lord allows me to ponder these scenarios before continuing.
“You are in a different season in life, so don’t get down on yourself that things are not like they once were. I am not upset or disappointed in you. There were some doors of opportunity that you missed, but I am not disappointed in you. Do not allow yourself to be discouraged by the season you are in now. It has been a season of disjointedness for many, but that is ending. Seasons change, and just like in the natural where there are physical signs of that occurring, there are also signs when there are spiritual shifts.” He then prompts me saying, “Come on, I have something to show you!”
I stand up and brush the sand off my clothes and the Lord points and directs my attention up the beach. He asks, “Do you see that?” I squint and ask Him if He means the birds, but He instructs me to look past them. Unfortunately, I don’t see anything but fog, the beach, and the sandpipers running to avoid the waves. We walk in the direction He pointed and suddenly, the tip of a cargo ship begins to come out of the fog and into view! It looks to be traveling toward a nearby harbor.
The Lord explains, “Be encouraged! The cargo this ship carries is provision for My church (ekklesia). Long-awaited provision is coming in and with it a plan for reformation. The Body is disjointed in many ways. That is what you have been sensing and experiencing. It’s painful! It has been a season of disjointedness, but that season is coming to a close. Often, seasonal changes linger like the warm days in fall and winter and the cold days of spring and summer. Sometimes changes are abrupt, but most times there are subtle changes like the position of the sun as the seasons change or watching the hour hand on a clock move. It can be unperceivable like watching hair grow. In time, you do see a big change, but the change itself is a slow process. You will look back on this season and say, ‘I didn’t realize just how much was going on, but now I see it!’”
The large ship is now in full view, and I see it is moored and workers are bustling around unloading the cargo. I understand that it is the Lord’s good pleasure to give us the provision needed (the tools, the resources, other believers to gather around one another) to complete the tasks He’s given us. ~
I pray this short encounter blesses and encourages you.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.Gotherefore andmake disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I amwith you always, even to the end of the age.”Amen. ~
Other Scriptures to ponder:
Galatians 4:4; Luke 2:42, 49; 3:23; Hebrews 4:15, Romans 5:3-5; 1 Peter 1:6-8; James 1:2-5
What do you think a sign from heaven would look like? Would it be a paraplegic standing and walking? Would it be finding jewels on your living room rug? Would it be a storm reversing itself and missing your house? While all these things could be signs from heaven, I find it interesting that in the story of Christ’s birth, the SIGN from heaven was that the shepherds were going to find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. The sign wasn’t the angel of the Lord speaking or the host of angels appearing and singing. We’ve heard the Christmas nativity story so many times that it is easy to gloss over this remarkable SIGN from heaven. We need to think about this scene more carefully!
Given the choice, everyone wants a clean environment for a baby’s birth. Right? Babies are so susceptible during the birthing process, as is the mother. It is an exciting time, but it is also a very nerve-wracking event! Have you been to a stable or barn lately? They are stinky and dusty with a lot of grime, and manure! Can you imagine having to give birth in such a filthy place? This is where the animals eat, and if you think your dog’s dish gets gross, can you imagine the mess a farm animal makes when eating. YET, this is the very place God chose for a sign.
Something else to ponder is the social status of the shepherds who were basically nomadic gypsies who lived in shabby mobile tents. They didn’t have the facilities to bathe as people who lived in a more stable environment would. They were chided and looked down upon in those days. So let’s look at this scene again. God chooses the stable for His Son to be born. He chooses the manger as a bed for this Newborn King. He chooses the shepherds that society doesn’t give a second thought. Yet, this was all by God’s design!
It’s not the way you or I would have done it, is it? Yet God is doing this even now in ways we can’t imagine. He is doing marvelous things that we too often fail to recognize that are actually signs from heaven. A few years back, I wrote a Christmas song called “Born To Die” that I hope to share one day. The manger isn’t how we would have done it at all and neither is the Cross! But God uses the most unlikely things to bring about the greatest and most unimaginable miracles. We must learn to trust God no matter what turns life takes, or how a situation looks like to our natural eyes. He has a plan! Glory to God in the highest indeed!!!
The apostle Paul wrote that God chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. Why didn’t God send the angels to reveal the sign from heaven to the religious leaders? Why didn’t He tell them that His Holy Child had been born and would be found in a manger? Would they have believed their Messiah would be found in an animal’s feeding trough? I think not. Nevertheless, the lowly shepherds did. So let me ask you, could something that is difficult going on in your life, actually be a sign of God’s working?
Blessings to you and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Free to Rejoice in the Father's Love - Always Judy A Bauman
We Are Not Alone
Today as I write you, I rejoice in the Father’s love and pray you do too. We can know that no matter what turns life may take, the LORD God will be with us. He will never leave nor forsake us. This is His promise! During difficult times, sometimes referred to as a “dark night of the soul,” we need to set our face like flint and seek the Father’s will in the situation. Jesus lived this by example.
Be Strengthened The Father will always provide a way for us when we seek Him. The Bible teaches that the testing of our faith is precious to God. He tested all the patriarchs and their examples are found all throughout Scripture so that we may learn from them. God shares the good and the bad times to strengthen our walk with Him – heart, soul, mind, body, and spirit. He wants us to see by Biblical example that whatever we are going through, we are not alone and that there are solutions. This is also why hearing the testimonies of others strengthens our resolve. I believe HOW we go through times of testing will speak of our growth in Him to those around us. (See Matthew 5:16)
Be Led of God’s Spirit Right now, some of you reading this post may feel abandoned by God or that you are in trouble with Him. I pray you will learn to see through the eyes of your understanding (see Ephesians 1:18) and not be swayed by your feelings. Feelings are fickle and can change from one moment to the next. The eyes of your understanding is spiritual insight that God gives which supersedes your natural abilities.
Go Boldly Jesus is our High Priest, and because of this fact, we can go boldly to the Throne of Grace in our time of trouble. He doesn’t require we sing three songs, study for an hour, run out and do a charitable act, and then pray for an hour before approaching Him. No – He says, “COME BOLDLY!” We don’t need to beg and plead for mercy or attempt to cover our own sin before approaching the Father. If we could cover our own sin, then we wouldn’t need a Savior! We are to RUN to Him at the very moment we need help. When we “come boldly to the receive mercy and find grace in our time of need” we are actually obeying Scripture! (See Hebrews 4:14-16) This coming boldly to the Lord is something that takes some practice because it comes naturally to try to cover ourselves.
Jesus Has You Covered This ‘cover up’ is the same mindset Adam and Eve had in the Garden when they sewed the fig leaves together. They were hoping to hide their sin, but it obviously didn’t work. God saw it. Here is what is amazing: He took skins and made clothing to cover them. A blood sacrifice was required to cover their sin, and this was a type and shadow of what Jesus does for all mankind! If we turn to Him and repent, He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Declare the Word of God over your feelings and situation and see the Lord’s hand swoop in and cover you. When God covers your sin, it is covered! Now that is the gift of God and our biggest part is to receive it and rejoice in His freedom. Again, I remind you, whom the Son has set free is free indeed! Do not allow your heart to be troubled, but put your trust in the Lord. AMEN!
In the Father’s love,
Judy A Bauman
Hebrews 4: 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The Holy Spirit woke me up a couple of hours before I normally arise and prompted me to share an urgent message with you. Though I am reluctant to, there is too much at stake not to obey Him.
The Lord’s been speaking to me for some time about the racehorse American Pharoah, and more recently about the differences between the two pharaohs of Egypt found in Genesis and Exodus. To quickly sum up and clarify, the pharaoh in Genesis that I refer to is the one who God gave a dream that only Joseph, the imprisoned Israelite, could interpret. This dream warned of a great famine and revealed how to prepare for it. The pharaoh, seeing Joseph’s godly wisdom and discernment, set him over all the land of Egypt to oversee the storage of grain for the famine. (See Genesis 41) Because of Joseph’s leadership and keen insight, all the people in the known world, and particularly his father, Jacob, along with his brothers were saved. We know this to be the 12 tribes of Israel.
The second pharaoh’s story is a long one and is found in the first 15 chapters of Exodus. It is written in chapter one that after Joseph and all his brothers had died, a new pharaoh came to power that did not remember Joseph. This leader was paranoid about the numbers of Israelites living in his land and enslaved them. After hundreds of years of captivity, this pharaoh was commanded by God through Moses to let the Israelites go free. As we know, 10 plagues later he finally did, but then changed his mind and caught up with them at the Red Sea. Because this leader would not bend to God’s will, it did not go well for him or his people.
Both of these pagan leaders believed themselves to be gods, HOWEVER, one was pliable in the hands of the Lord and the other hardened, cruel, and unmoving. Keep this in mind as I share a little history as to how the Lord unfolded this analogy of the “American Pharaoh.”
While sitting in a cafe on June 16, 2015, I was reading a prophetic post about a racehorse named American Pharoah (misspelled on his legal paperwork). He had won the Triple Crown ten days prior and was the first horse to win that prestigious trophy since 1973. It was a big deal! Only 12 horses have won the Triple Crown in history.
You may be asking yourself, where is Judy going with this, and does God really speak through such events? Please stay with me as the Lord does indeed use odd things to confirm a revelation is from Him and not from our own minds. I could site many biblical examples of odd things God has used to demonstrate His power and sovereignty.
Though the cafe was closing, the staff told me it was all right for me to stay and enjoy my coffee while they cleaned. The prophetic word I was reading at that moment was about how God was going to raise up unlikely leaders, which He would then use to put godly leaders in place – as He did with the pharaoh in the days of Joseph.
For years, I have heard multiple prophetic voices proclaiming a generation with like callings of both Joshua and Joseph will arise and lead the people in desperate time, so I was very interested in the post. I was trying to tune out the news broadcast from the TV behind me; however, the broadcast was getting louder and louder as the staff kept turning up the volume.
The person giving the speech was saying that the U.S. was in trouble and that there were things that could be done to fix it. I agreed with what he said that day; however, the speaker was very blunt, abrupt, and often rude in his statements. I thought to myself, the media is going to eat this guy for lunch!
Finally, he piqued my interest and I turned around to see who the brave, but brazen, soul was that I was hearing speak. I was shocked –no, stunned – to see Donald Trump announcing his candidacy for the President of the United States! The Holy Spirit immediately showed me a VERY INTERESTING connection between this man and what I was reading about the pharaoh of Joseph’s day. Believe me when I tell you that my opinion of Trump didn’t faze the Lord, but His opinion sure affected mine!
People are saying it stinks that we have to choose between two evils. (By the way, this is said every election.) But let’s step back from our own opinions a minute and look at the bigger picture. If you look at the two pharaohs of Genesis and Exodus, you can see a picture of what the Lord has been speaking to my heart concerning this election. Though both pharaohs were wicked in their own right, one relented to the will of the Lord, and the other defied Him. The first one in Genesis acted wisely, the second, foolishly. This first pharaoh saw a leader that would bring about restoration and preservation for the people and put him into position. The people under the rule of the second pharaoh suffered terribly, and his heart was so hard, he didn’t seem to care.
Understand, I am NOT saying the Lord has told me the outcome of the election. He has not. I’m just telling you the prophetic picture He has given me about it. No matter what happens, I have His peace. Though a lot of confusion has been sown into this election, and it will no doubt get uglier before Election Day, our God is not the god of confusion. We have a choice. God used the pharaoh of Joseph’s day for good and I do believe that His desire is for us to have a leader that is pliable in His hands. God gave us freewill. The question is, will we ask the Lord how to cast our vote, or do whatever we want? I do know we must give an account for our words (spoken or omitted).
If you are outside the USA, please pray for the United States during this process; however, if you are having a difficult time deciding whom you will cast your vote in the coming US election, I hope you will look beyond the candidates. Think about how many plans and people a president puts into place. Think about the nomination for the Supreme Court that is on the table. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a no vote or a third-party vote is a righteous one. As Edmond Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” This is why I cannot remain silent on this issue.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.
In the Father’s love,
Judy A Bauman First shared 2016, resubmitted for your discernment
Jewels from Judy: Come Let Us Reason Together!
Judy A Bauman
Come Let Us Reason Together!
This morning, I awoke with such an intense sense of urgency for the people of God. I have wrestled all day with what the Lord showed me in a moment. There is so much confusion right now about things going on in the world, especially for those tuned into the constant barrage from the daily news cycle. If you are feeling perplexed about the upcoming election, you are not alone. It is not commonly known, but over 25,000 professing Christians are not yet registered to vote, and many that are registered do not bother with it. Does this surprise you? It did me!
Many church leaders have taught that Christians are not to mingle with governmental issues, but we need to ask, is that truly Biblical? There are some Scriptures that seem to point to that conclusion; however, if we rightly divide the word of truth, we see there are many more Scriptures that reveal God takes great interest in all areas of our life, not parts and pieces of it. Given there is so much written in the Bible about different governments and how they affect the people, I believe God is keenly interested in it.
Do Not Be Silent; Use Your Voice for Good
God gave you a voice and He gives you the choice to use it. Know that not only is your “yes” or “no” being weighed in the balance, but so is your silence when He asks you to speak. If you feel confused, go boldly to the Throne of Grace, and stop paying attention to what others tell you to believe! Instead, ask the Father to give you spiritual eyes to see what true issues are at hand. He will! Say “yes” to God’s ways and “no” to what He detests. This is wisdom.
As the Lord urges, let us come and reason together. Please, do not stay silent and do not turn a blind eye at this crucial (kairos) moment of time. If you are an American and are not registered to vote, please register today. It varies from state to state, but please do not delay because October 5, 2020, is the cutoff day for most states. Beloved, the time is now to be a united voice and bring God’s ways back to the United States of America. Selah
In Righteousness and Justice, My Word will Stand Forever
Judy A Bauman
“Where there is evil there will be more, but in righteousness and justice, My word will stand forever. Do not look to the right or to the left, and do not call conspiracy what most call conspiracy.
“I Am calling a regiment of people to come together and stand in the fire until they see Me in there with them. Many will leave, but for those that remain, they will not only see My glory but so will those around them – especially the unbelievers. They will see My glory arise from the flames of man’s bent toward destruction. What looks like a terrible disaster will yield My glory, and as it arises the lame shall walk, and the deaf will hear. The blind will receive sight. This is true for the spiritual as well as the physical.
“Do not tremble or be in fear at this word. Stand tall and be valiant. I will cause those who trust Me to trust Me more. I will cause them to rise from the ashes of death and destruction and walk freely through areas of great turmoil. These are My ambassadors of peace. I have called them forth for such a time as this and in them, you will see My dunamis power explode. In places of great despair and fear, My love will explode on the seen in unprecedented ways.
“Do not fear, My little scribe, I know this was not what you expected, but you have asked Me for meat and not milk. This word is for My warriors, not for those wrapped up in their cozy lives. I never said it would be easy. I never said there would not be suffering or persecution. In fact, I warned you there would be. However, I also told you that you are Mine. I gave you My peace and reassured you not to fear. Do not fear for I Am with you. Do not be dismayed for I Am your God. I will strengthen you – yes I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Yes, I will strengthen you! You are not alone. I Am your ‘Plus One.’”
Scriptures to Ponder:
Isaiah 8:12, 41:10; 51:1-2; Daniel 3:8-30; Proverbs 11:19; 1 Peter 3:8-12; Isaiah 60:1-2; 61:1-3; Mark 13:5-37
Originally written in my notebook on October 24, 2006. While it was shared in November of that same year, it has been updated September 24, 2020
To Be A Disciple of Christ
“To be My disciple means to walk as I walked - to be as I Am. First and foremost - I Am Love! I love you and I desire you to walk in the type of love that I displayed and modeled for you.
“The Only way I could walk in that love as the Son of Man was to spend time with My Father. I loved Him first. I love My Father and He loves Me. We are separate, but we are One. As the Son of Man, I faced many opportunities to rightfully lash out at people, but the love that I had - that love that came from My Father - overrode the temptation to sin in anger. The times you read in Scripture that gives the impression that I was angry (like when I spoke the ‘woes' to the Scribes and Pharisees and when I cleansed the temple) were from the love of the Father. It was not anger as much as it was sorrow. I know there is much debate on this, and I do not bring you a new doctrine. I bring you My heart cry. Love one another as I have loved you.
“Many cry out to see Me, to see My face, and I tell you the truth that when you look at one another you are looking at Me. Do not look to those who are obviously [following] Me to see Me, though you may have to start there to grasp this concept but look to the least of the brethren. What you do to them, you do to Me. What you do with each other, you do with Me. What you do for them, you do for Me. Understand that I desire for you to care for one another. One person cannot take care of the whole world! You can in no way fathom how many are alone with no help.”
Suddenly I saw the entire world and as it turned, I could see millions, maybe billions of hurting people in that flash of a second of time and it was overwhelming!
The Lord continued His important message, “But if you will touch people around you in My name and with My love, then if those that you touch with My love will turn and in kind and touch those around them with My love, and those then also touch others who are around them with My love - THEN MY LOVE WILL BE LIKE A FIRE SPREADING THROUGH A DRY FOREST!”
“I Am the light of the world and in Me there is no darkness. As My disciples reflect the light of My love, they ignite others to reflect the light of My love. I Am a Consuming Fire! But I do not bring a destructive fire. I bring a fire that burns off the ropes and sets men, women, and children free. My fire is My passion for My church. I burn with love for My church. Touch each other with this pure and holy fire. Touch each other with this pure and holy love. IGNITE those around you with holy fire.
“Be careful not to allow the enemy of your soul, Satan, to manipulate you into perverting My love. My love sets people free. My perfect love destroys fear. My love covers you. My love will never lead you into immorality. Be aware! Satan will use your own desires to sin against Me. You must be wise! You must be diligent! You must stand guard!
“To be My disciple means to be like Me. I Am like My Father. We are holy! Be holy as I Am holy and IGNITE those around you to be holy. I would not say this if it were not possible. This can only be done as you are led by My Spirit. So, follow your Guide. Heed your Teacher. You were created in Our image. Come, Follow Me.”
~Lovingly spoken by the Spirit of the Lord
This word was given to me after telling the Lord that I knew what I thought it meant to be a disciple of Christ, but I wanted to know what He said it is. When I originally shared this, I gave many Scripture references to go with it, but in rereading it, there were so many, it was overwhelming. If you want Scripture references, I will happily provide them for you.
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him. 26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
Jewels from Judy: Fathers, Do You Know Who You ARE?
Judy A Bauman
Dear Readers: When I received this word from the Lord twelve years ago, I first heard it directed specifically to fathers. However, I came to understand that this message is not just for fathers nor for men only because we are all one in Christ. See Galatians 3:28. This “download” from the Holy Spirit blessed me with a true revelation and understanding of our being created in God's Image. While it is especially for all who are called by His name, manhood is by design a reflection of God and I bless all those who read this post in the Father’s love.
Fathers, Do You Know Who You ARE?
“Do you know who you are, son? Man was created in My image, and in My image, you reflect My love or lack thereof. You are the very reflection of God Almighty on earth. When people look at you, they see Me. When your children look at you they either see My love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, and patience or they see your judgment, condemnation, perfectionism, apathy, and anger as a reflection of My character. Do not allow a bitter root to spring from you and defile many. The fruits of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit are very apparent. So, what are you reflecting to your children and to those you mentor? What do you reflect to those who are subordinate to you? As an example, how do you speak of those who are superior to you in authority?” (See Hebrews 12:15; Galatians 5:19-26; 1 Tim 2:1-4; Ephesians 6:9; Titus 3:1-4).
“Many desire to know exactly what I have called them to do and where they are to be. The perfection of My plan will unfold moment by moment and day by day as you bend your will to Mine. Do not look to the right or to the left. Let not your hearts be troubled. Do what I have asked you to do and then we will move on to the next thing together. Do not despise the day of small beginnings. He who is faithful with little will be given much.” (See John 14:1; Joshua 1:7; Zechariah 4:10, Luke 16:10).
“Right now, I want you to listen to what I tell you. You have heard that before the terrible Day of the Lord I sent the prophet Elijah. My Son Jesus made it clear that John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah to restore all things, and yet John clearly did not know who he was. The angel told his father, Zechariah, but John did not understand the depth of his calling.He did not know he was the Elijah to come and restore all things.” (See Matthew 17:12-13; John 1:21; Luke 1:11-17.)
“Now I ask you: Do you know who you are? What was and what is the purpose of Elijah's coming? Yes, he destroyed the false prophets of BAAL, but what was it he was to restore? What do I desire to be restored now? Does not My word tell you? Does not My word make it plain? The Old Testament ends with this strategic information and the New Testament in the Gospel of Luke begins with it. So, can you not see for yourself how plain I have made it?”
Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.
Luke 1: 17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." [emphasis mine]
“Many of you believe you are ready for My coming, but you are not ready. The hearts of the fathers MUST return to the sons. The hearts of the parents must return to the children. In the days to come My promptings will become very pointed and exacting. A breaking is coming! The fathers are the ones closest to My reflection on earth and I am soon putting My foot down. Those who are repentant will see great breakthroughs in every area of their life, but those who are not will suffer great judgment from My hand.
“The fathers must heed and obey. This will require them to humble themselves under My mighty right hand, but those who obey will be lifted to new heights that will astonish even the best of them. At risk are financial blessings, healings and miracles, salvations and wholeness, and more than the mind can conceive. Many have cried out to Me for healing and financial breakthrough, but what they do not see is their relationship with their families is first on My list. Warn the men, Judy, that because they are a reflection of My glory on earth, it is time to align their will to Mine. The hour is late! It is much later than most believe. Let it be done on earth as it is in heaven. I Am praying for the fathers. I Am praying for the parents. I Am praying for you. Reflect Me well. Be who I called you to be - representatives of My love on earth. May it be done on earth as it is in heaven. Selah”
In the Father’s Love,
Judy A Bauman
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Luke 12:34 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~ Jesus
“My church has long been in a lukewarm state. People claim My name, but do not adhere to My standards. My will, My ways, My precepts, My commands are the way to life. The fear of the Lord involves not just reverence for Me but to love what I love and hate what I hate.” [Proverbs 8:13]
“When I said that the thief comes to steal and to kill and to destroy, that is exactly what I meant. I come to give life and given in abundance, but not so My people called by My name can live their lives in false freedom.
“The truth will set people free, not their version of truth, not what sounds good and tickles the ears of the hearer, not the truth of the world that produces the anger of man. No! My truth is eternal and will stand long after the dust of the lukewarm church has been scattered to the winds.
“This is a difficult word, and few will hear what I am saying; but to those who will, I say this: sharpen your sword – the word of God.
“When I said that the Kingdom of God suffers much violence and the violent take it by force, I was not speaking of physical violence. Remember, you are not warring with people, but with the demonic realm. While physical action must be taken when it is forced, the weapons of your warfare are not natural manmade weapons. While I have shared this with you before it bears repeating. Your weapons, My beloved Ekklesia, are praise, worship, prayer, instruction of My ways and will, and serious study of My word. Your firepower is the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit used in the manner I lead you and not in your own strength. Speak My word given at a precise moment needed. Your giftings must be led of My spirit.
~Love - Am love, so love others with the love which I have loved you.
~Joy - Not happiness, but joy even when all hell is coming against you.
~Peace - The peace that surpasses understanding which guards your heart and mind in Christ Jesus
~Patience – The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. See the progression of patience in Romans 5:3-5.
~Kindness - It is the kindness of God that leads one to repentance.
~Goodness - You are to proclaim the goodness, the excellencies of Him who has called you out of the darkness and into His marvelous light.
~Faithfulness - Be dependable and loyal to me even if it cost you your life. Be willing to give it all to me and to my purpose. Unbelief will not nullify My faithfulness, but the one who continues in unfaithfulness will be cut off from My goodness and mercy.
~Gentleness - My spirit is gentle and kind. My people are not to Stir up hatred, but to call the sinner to repentance. It is not a weak position but power under control. Again, the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God in Christ. Remember, we are talking about the weapons of warfare.
Where there is no fuel the fire goes out. A gentle word spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
~Self-control - Must be cultivated in each soul. Actions follow one’s thoughts, so the warfare which must be won is the war being waged in your mind. Think about what you're thinking about. Do you have the mind of Christ? If not, study the Gospels and learn what Jesus said and did. Do not shy away when it's time to be bold and do not rush out when I am leading you to rest or stay away from an area. Remember Jesus not only hid Himself at times, but My apostles weren't permitted in certain areas by My spirit.
Seek Me early. Seek Me often. Seek My face, and you will find Me.”
"As you dwell in Me and teach others to do the same, you will find yourself growing in My strength and power. I set My seal upon those who will trust in Me and lean not to their own understanding. Calm your hearts for I am with you. My promise is to never forsake you.
“As you dwell in Me, you will learn to sense the direction I'm going and what I'm doing in your day. Do not allow your heart to be dismayed or alarmed. There is nothing new under the sun and you have read the psalmist even speak into the day and hour you are in (Psalm 74).
“My return is near, but not as near as some suppose, so keep working in My field where I have you until I come. Keep moving with the harvest. I haven't called you to hide, so come into the light and live as ambassadors of My will and ways."
Waiting on the Promise
Beloved ones, have you been waiting on the Lord during this global reset? I pray during this unusual time that you have found yourself living with and IN CHRIST and God’s faithfulness. Many of us have experienced hardships like we’ve never known, but through it all, whether we’ve realized it or not, the Lord has been near. Philippians 4:4-5 comes to mind where Paul tells the Ekklesia to rejoice for this very reason. The Lord is near – He is at hand! Knowing Paul was imprisoned when he wrote to the Philippians gives me great hope and encouragement, and I pray it gives you hope too. Certainly, if he could write the letter he did under those circumstances we can follow the rest of his directive in Philippians 4:6-9.
With that said, there are two things that I want to share with you that the Lord has made clear to me. Many of us have heard that we have entered “a new era.” There are a number of prophetic voices that have confirmed this fact over the past year or two.
THE ERA OF GREAT HARVEST!
Jesus warned us that Satan is a thief, and recently the Holy Spirit spoke to me, “Understand that the enemy seeks to redefine this new era as the ‘Covid/Post Covid-19 era’ saying this is the ‘new normal’. However, you are to call itTHE ERA OF GREAT HARVEST!”
As we are celebrating Pentecost Sunday and preparing for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit, I received word that some wicked people are calling this, ‘Bloody Sunday’. While we are to be watchful, we are NOT to be in agreement with either of these demonic assertions. It is PENTECOST SUNDAY and we are in THE ERA OF GREAT HARVEST - that is our declaration, that is our stance! The only blood that matters is the Blood of Jesus that covers us! Hallelujah! Watchfulness and walking in wisdom is one thing, but paranoia is another. God has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity. He has given us His power, the love of the Father, and a sound and well-balanced mind – the mind of Christ. Amen!
The Dawn of the New Era
Today, my husband and I were watching the docking of the first manned space flight in years. They docked to the International Space Station. It was such an exciting moment and took me back to 1969 when NASA shared the moon landing. As they were addressing all the viewers and commenting on the international cooperation involved, they quoted Astronaut Anne McClain saying, “This is the DAWN OF A NEW ERA in human spaceflight.”
This so speaks to me about the Ekklesia! We are in the DAWN OF A NEW ERA – THE ERA OF GREAT HARVEST! I love when the Lord uses unusual events to confirm what He’s doing. Glory to God!
I pray this blesses and encourages you in the Father’s love,
It just dawned on me that today is the 25th Anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I lived in Tulsa at the time of this terrible tragedy, and three weeks after the bombing I went to help at the YMCA across from it. There was something that I saw which compelled me to write and tell its story (linked below). This is also the first published article I wrote. It seems to speak into what we are going through now in some way.
I do ask that you stop and pray for the families who lost loved ones...particularly those that lost children in the nursery.
Jewels from Judy: “Will You War Over My Promises?”
By Judy A Bauman
The Lord is asking, “Will you war over My promises?”
This morning the Lord asked me, “Will you war over My promises?” I knew this question was not meant for my benefit alone but was also intended for the Body of Christ. I asked the Father to help me understand our part in the battle because I know we are much more motivated to fight for something when we understand what is at stake. This was His response:
“When I give a promise, it is not a ‘done deal’ as some would make it out to be. It is My desire that you partner with My plans. When Esther was taken to the palace, she was told perhaps she was there ‘for such a time as this.’ However, prior to that, Mordechai let her know that if she didn’t approach the king, even at the peril of her own life, she would not escape destruction. He said that deliverance of the Jews would come from someone else if she didn’t speak up for them.
“You, beloved, have been brought into My kingdom for such a time as this. You are not just here for beauty treatments and notoriety. You are in My kingdom and you do have favor with Me but you mustn’t take your position with Me lightly.
“When I give a promise, know that the enemy will do everything to fight against it. Don’t allow him the victory! I tell you it is a new era, a season for a great harvest. Your enemy says it’s a season of death. Do you see what he’s doing? The devil will work to bring about the opposite of what I say, but the question I have for you is simple. Who will you believe? Whose words will you align yourself with and who will you choose to follow? There is power in agreement! Remember, faith is believing what you can’t see. Fear is constantly being shoved in your face, but you do not have to consume it. You can dine at My table or the devil’s, but you can’t partake of both. You have a choice.
“Many personal promises given to My beloved ones go unfulfilled because there is more belief in what is seen than faith in what I have said. What will it be for you? I ask again, will you war over My promises?” ~ end
Reflection: When I first heard the Lord ask if we would war over His promises, I could hear Christian voices that passively say, “If God said it, He’ll do it.” While this is commonly believed, I felt His disapproval to this type of passive thinking. It doesn’t require us to engage with what He is doing in the earth. He says “Yes,” to His promises, but we are to respond to the glory of God and say, “Amen!” (2 Corinthians 1:20)
It is His good pleasure that we take part in His plans as we are His ambassadors, his representatives, for a reason. His call for us to war over His promises is the call to stop the enemy from stealing from us! God’s promises will be fulfilled, but if we don’t participate with His plans, He will look for another who will value His promises.
Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.” It is His good pleasure to give us an abundant life, but we need to examine our part in the process. Think about how the persistent widow relentlessly fought for justice in Jesus’ parable in Luke 18:1-8. Be assured that your Father is the Righteous Judge and He hears you! Will He find faith on the earth when He returns? I pray He does!
Dear Friends of The Father's Love Int'l Ministries,
Many of us have had church services canceled today because of the reported pandemic. Perhaps you are in a forced or self-imposed 14-day quarantine. You could even have been tested and found positive. There is no better time than now to press into the Lord of hosts and pray for God to take what the enemy has meant for our harm and use it for His good! (See John 10:10)
I want to encourage you to join our voices together today and pray as President Trump has declared March 15, 2020, a National Day of Prayer. I am asking you to take this further, much further and continue to press into Jesus in the days and weeks to come. Reach for the hem of His garment! Seek God's face, study Scriptures on what it means to be IN CHRIST and ABIDE in the Vine! We live and move and have our being in Christ Jesus and there is no better time to BE THE LIGHT and SHINE into the darkness. God has not given us a spirit of timid fear, but He's given us: God's dynamic power (dunamis), the love of the Father, and a sound and well-balanced mind - the mind of Christ.
Let us not forget who we are IN CHRIST. We are God Almighty's ambassadors. We are His hands and feet on earth. We are the ones He's called to bring the Good News. The media wants people to be in fear and stay tuned in their narrative, but we need to tune into the voice of our Father and seek His face! Let God's light shine in the darkness! May the Lord be high and lifted up and let Him be seen through you!
If you realize that you have been reacting to this in a spirit of fear, the Father is calling you to repent and turn to Him for comfort and He will restore you. Jesus will calm your heart and the storm that rages around you. He will give you His peace that surpasses all understanding to guard your heart and mind (see Phil 4:4-9).
Below is the link to the prayer directive for today from the White House. I would suggest we pray this through daily. Let's also pray for the prodigals to come to themselves and come home. If you have been diagnosed with Covid19, please reply and let me know so I can pray for you! I write to encourage you in the name of Jesus. Amen!
Have you ever had a date repeatedly be a blessing? I have shared the testimony of when I surrendered to the Lord (February 12, 1997) a few times in a post called “A Valentine from Heaven;” however, it is not the only significant thing to happen to me on this date.
Thirty-one years ago, tonight my husband and I had finished packing two U-Haul trailers and left Colorado for California in a blinding blizzard! Along with our two children and all our belongings, we moved with a dog, a fish, and the back of a truck filled with houseplants. We had no way to know what kind of life we were embarking on, but we were excited about the new adventure.
That night, February 12, 1989, it took us over 2 hours to drive 45 miles to Cheyenne, Wyoming! We didn’t know that I-25 was shut down moments after we got onto it, but we realized ours were the only two vehicles on the road! Three days later, through some very harsh driving conditions, we arrived in California. I will never forget coming down the Sierra Nevada Mountains into the Sacramento Valley and seeing palm trees! Just like that, there was no snow, no black ice, no sub-zero temps, no blinding blizzards. Whoo-hoo! We had what I called, “Decided Summer!” Though we moved 12 times in 18 years, we’ve happily settled in Georgia. As the (edited) testimony that follows reveals, it’s amazing what God can do when you say “yes” to Him! It can be scary, but His ways are so much better than ours!
A Valentine from Heaven
It was two days before Valentine’s Day 1997, and though my life looked wonderful from every angle, deep down I was miserable. I tried ‘to be a good person’ and live my life in a way that would be pleasing to my fellowman, but all the community works I was juggling did not fill the void in my soul. At the end of the day, I was exhausted and empty. Occasionally, I would get a glimpse of why I was so unhappy and what I needed – I needed the Lord! Sadly, I would quickly reject this notion because it wasn’t convenient to my lifestyle. Rejecting God was justifiable in my mind because I knew I couldn’t live up to His standards. Though I looked to the world for acceptance and comfort, I never seemed fulfilled. I was in a frightening and unwinnable battle.
The void began when my father suddenly passed away. He was only 43 years old and left behind a wife and three children, as well as his parents who daily relied on his help. Well-meaning clergy told us, “God must have needed him,” and that “he was in a better place.” This didn’t bring consolation to my grief-stricken heart. My sister, brother, and I were sent to live with relatives, supposedly for the summer, but it ended up being for 3 years. Night after night I would earnestly cry out to God, “Why my dad, why me?” I agonized over the loss of my dad and listened for an answer, but none came.
My brother and I moved back with our mother when I was 14 and he was 11, our sister had married. There were hostile undercurrents between my mother and me for not only sending us off but for uprooting us once we had settled in at our relative’s. Then the unthinkable happened. Doctors diagnosed my mother with breast cancer! I never doubted that she would recover (because surely God would not ‘take’ her too). However, after a few years, and much suffering, she succumbed to the ravages of the disease.
At her funeral I again heard from well-meaning folks, “She’s in a better place,” and “God must have needed her.” Really, I thought? More than her children? This did not sit well, and it really damaged my view of our heavenly Father. Deeply dismayed, my confusion turned to anger that burned hot against God. He seemed selfish and more like a big bully who was no different from Greek gods who threw lightning bolts or hit people with a huge hammer. I decided if God was so selfish that He needed my parents more than their three children did, I didn’t want anything to do with Him. I would live my life my way, not His! Anytime the subject of God came up, I was like a cornered cat ready to fight; my cynicism towards Christianity and disdain for Christians grew. Some would try to explain to me how the Lord was loving, kind, and good. I reasoned, if God were truly loving, why wouldn’t He have kept my parents from dying? If He were kind and good, why wouldn’t He just put an end to all the suffering and evil in the world?
Although I had a profound salvation experience in 1982, I loved reading the Word of God, and truly enjoyed fellowship with other believers – all that was stripped away three years later when I divorced my first husband. I knew God hated divorce, but I just could not stay with him. The worse part of our estrangement was his twisting of Scripture to manipulate me. I assumed that the Lord hated me for getting the divorce, so I quietly stepped away from Him and the church. I tried to live life the best I could as a ‘regular nice person’.
Twelve years went by from that time to where I found myself on the morning of February 12, 1997. I was so miserable when I woke up that day, but I happened to notice that it was the first day of Lent. I’d never observed it before, but oddly, something went off inside me when I saw it on the calendar. It was HOPE! Jesus had been drawing me to Himself for months, and though I had been keeping Him at arm’s length, I could ignore Him no longer. My fear of His rejection was being overwritten. God was throwing a lifeline into my Pit of Despair, and I prayed that if I clung onto it, He would be merciful and pull me out.
I found my old Bible packed away and began to read in Psalm 107:10-16, 19-22. The passage was personal. It spoke to me where I was at that exact moment! As was written there: I cried to the Lord in my trouble and He saved me from my distress; He sent forth His word and healed me and saved me from destruction! I fell to my knees and thanked Him for His goodness. I repented of sinning against Him. I laughed and cried! I was HOME!!! In that moment, the Holy Spirit gave me great freedom, and peace flooded my soul. I knew Jesus didn’t condemn me but filled my emptiness with joy. He adopted me! As a child of God, I had a profound sense of belonging. I began reading and truly studying the Bible. I began to see that Scripture is like a beautiful tapestry that, through many authors over thousands of years, God wove together His story and heart for us. I could have never imagined it, but I found the Bible to be wonderful and freeing.
You do not have to be an orphan to experience the debilitating wounds from being abandoned or rejected. We each have our own story of how we’ve been beaten and battered. We have fought with discouragement, doubt, and unbelief. At some point, all of us have been or will be, wounded by different tragedies and heartbreaks. Our heavenly Father’s desire is for all mankind to experience His forgiveness and abiding love. The most wonderful gift anyone could ever receive is to be adopted by the King of kings! Being reconciled to God is a gift that anyone can accept at any time.
As John 3:16 states, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” He gave His best so we can live abundantly. I pray in Jesus’ mighty name that all chains holding you captive be broken and any iron bars be cut in two! Amen!
In the Father’s Love,
Judy A Bauman
“Valentine from Heaven” edited 2020
10 Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
Bound in affliction and irons—
11 Because they rebelled against the words of God,
And despised the counsel of the Most High,
12 Therefore He brought down their heart with labor;
They fell down, and there was none to help.
13 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
And broke their chains in pieces.
15 Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
16 For He has broken the gates of bronze,
And cut the bars of iron in two.
19 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
20 He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
21 Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
22 Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
God proclaimed 50 as the Biblical number of Jubilee. This is when liberty is proclaimed! (See Leviticus 25) Today I am writing because I want to share something personal with you.
The reason this is significant to me at this very moment, on this date 50 years ago, I suffered a great loss. My dad died. It was a very traumatic event because just before he collapsed, he had strictly punished me for not doing the evening dishes. I later learned that the type of hidden heart condition he suffered from often produces outbursts of anger. Unfortunately, that specific night, I bore the brunt of it. That being his last conscious act haunted me and I suffered from tremendous guilt. What I didn’t know for years is the ‘replaying’ of events is not an uncommon thing for someone who has suffered a trauma. This is what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is and how it interferes with a person’s life.
Surprisingly, I learned about PTSD while watching an episode of West Wing (Noel). A character in the show was having strange reactions and was told he had to sit with a psychologist to keep his job. In the show, the character was diagnosed with PTSD but argued that he had never been in the military, so he couldn’t have it. The doctor explained that it can happen to anyone suffering a trauma. What really hit me was when he said, “You know you are cured when you can remember the incident without reliving it.” Remembering an incident is one thing, seeing it and experiencing the emotions as if the event is happening at that moment is another. This is what was happening to me and I was unable to stop the memories from replaying in my mind. For years, I had episodes where I relived both the night my dad died and his funeral, so any healing I gained would be weakened when that memory would be relived. This is what had been occurring since that fateful night, and just knowing what I was dealing with made a huge difference.
God is so good because He healed me in stages. How the Holy Spirit explained it to me was that I would need multiple surgeries, but that when He was done, I wouldn’t even know where the wound had been. This was unimaginable to me, but I am here to tell you that there is no scar! What I am also here to tell you is that you do not have to suffer for years before God heals and makes you whole.
Perhaps you see yourself (or someone you love) in my story. The fact is, we don’t have to suffer alone. The MASTER SURGEON is on duty. Allow the Lord to show you the first step to freedom. His word is full of direction, counsel and healing. Reach out for prayer. Honestly, I had more issues than just my dad’s death that were fortifying the enemy’s stranglehold.
Praise God that the weapons of our warfare are not natural, but they are MIGHTY in the pulling down of strongholds. Studying the word, prayer, fasting, praise and worship, acts of kindness, acts of obedience, developing the fruit and gifts of the Spirit, as well as putting on the armor of God are all effective weapons! I hope this encourages you. Please let me know how I can pray for you if you cannot break free from the trauma you have suffered. When God’s healing is complete, there will be no scar.
In the Father’s love
Judy A Bauman
Another testimony on this subject can be found here:
~One thing God did on this date that I could have in no way planned, my second book was published! (I had sent it in at the end of November, but Jewels from the Harvest was published February 5, 2018!) I have a number of really sweet things the Lord has done for me on this date. Perhaps that will be for another post.
Dear Friends of The Father’s Love Int’l Ministries,
As my husband would say, “If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done,” and that is exactly how it’s been to send out this year’s contribution receipts! It didn’t help that I’ve been fighting a hacking cough and had developed a fever. I had put a prayer request out on Facebook last night and was so blessed to see the number of people who wrote to say they were praying. There was good advice as many friends warned not to wait to see a doctor. They had made that mistake and suffered for it!
I decided to sign up for a video doctor’s call through my new Medishare program and had my first online doctor’s appointment. I loved it! I was in and out in minutes! Haha! 😊
No doubt, the prayers and meds are working together, as I was able to sit long enough to get the receipts sent. I’m so thankful to be already feeling better.
If you gave a donation in 2019 and did not get an emailed receipt, or if it is incorrect, please let me know as soon as possible and I will rectify it. It is my hope that we will continue doing the work of the ministry together in 2020. There is something special God is doing in our day, and I believe being prepared for it is going to be essential.
Many blessings to you in the Father’s love,
Judy A Bauman
A Glimpse at the Life and Times of Saul, David, and Absalom
Judy A Bauman
Israel Demands That Samuel Appoint A King to Rule Them
To better understand how the “kingdoms” of Israel were first established, we need to look briefly at the man who gave Saul the right and the power to be the first king of Israel. This task fell to Samuel, who was the last of the Judges of Israel and the first one referred to in Scripture as a prophet of God. We pick up this story in 1 Samuel 8 when the Israelites demanded Samuel give them a king “to judge us like all the nations.” Even with a dire warning of what life would be like under the king and all he would demand of them, they cried out for a king to judge them and to fight their battles!
The Lord made it clear to Samuel that they were not rejecting him, but they were rejecting God as their King and had turned to idols. The Lord said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.” Doesn’t this speak of the mercy of God? His people, the ones He brought out of Egypt, the ones the Lord repeatedly delivered, rejected Him for what is promised to be a rough ride. Sadly, the need to be like others and to be admired is a common thread that is laced throughout this historical account.
Saul – The First King of Israel
Saul had no idea what was in store for him when his father sent him and a servant to look for some missing donkeys. (Let that sink in a minute. Sometimes we think we are meandering around, when in reality, God is setting us up for a life-changing event!) The Lord had told Samuel that He was sending a man from the tribe of Benjamin and that he was to anoint him as Israel’s commander. When Samuel saw him, the Lord told him that this was the man to be king. While Saul was handsome and taller than any of the Israelites, he didn’t see himself as one worthy of being king. Saul was from the least of the families of the smallest tribe of Benjamin. His confidence was so weak that when Samuel planned to introduce him, he was hiding! When he stood before the people, they saw his height and good looks and shouted, “Long live the king!”
Saul went home and tried to live life as usual but then heard a wicked report and was moved to act. King Saul took his rightful place as commander, and he had his first successful campaign against the Ammonites who were threatening the Israelites. Even so, Samuel reminded the people that by demanding a king, they had greatly sinned against God.
King Saul seemed to be doing well, but when faced with war against the Philistines, Saul took the role of the prophet and foolishly usurped Samuel’s authority and made a sacrifice to God. Because of this Samuel told Saul, “The Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart.” Sadly, this was not the only impetuous act that led God to reject Saul as king, and though Samuel continued to pray for him, the Lord commanded him to anoint another.
David – The Second King of Israel
Samuel was sent to Bethlehem to the house of Jesse, of the tribe of Judah, to anoint Israel’s next ruler. However, none of his sons, as promising as they looked to the eye, were to be king. Jesse had not even bothered to call his youngest son, David, who was out tending sheep, to meet Samuel for consideration. David was a skilled musician, and commonly lifted a psalm of worship to the Lord God of Israel. He was courageous and fast to swing his sling to protect his father’s sheep and lambs from lions and bears. The moment Samuel saw him, God told him that David was His choice! Samuel anointed David as king with his father and brothers as witnesses, but interestingly, Jesse’s youngest son did not immediately take the throne. Though Saul had sinned against God two years after being anointed king, he reigned for forty-two.
David’s life first intertwined with Saul’s because the king’s disobedience had opened a door for a wicked spirit to torment him. Remarkably, David was chosen to play and sing for the king not only because he was skilled, but because his anointed music drove away the evil spirit from the king’s mind. At the time, it seems Saul was unaware that God had chosen David as his replacement. After David saved Israel from Goliath, Saul appointed him the commander over his army. This pleased all the people. David greatly loved Saul. One day minstrels joyfully greeted the king singing, “Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands.” Saul became consumed with jealousy! Much to his dismay, everything David did he did wisely. Saul was terrified of David because he knew the Spirit of God was with him. In his deranged thinking, he plotted to have David killed by the Philistines. The king didn’t ask David for a dowry for his daughter’s hand in marriage, instead, he asked for 100 Philistine foreskins! Would you believe he brought back 200? Saul could not win! None of his plots worked. The deep-seated jealousy toward David took over, and in his crazed state, Saul threw his spear at him at least twice. Fortunately, David was fast enough to avoid being hit.
Those who loved David helped him escape and he fled from Saul. The king became so incensed against his son Jonathan for siding with David, he threw a spear at him too! When Saul learned that the priest Ahimeleck had provided shelter and given David provisions, along with the sword of Goliath, Saul ordered not only Ahimeleck and his family’s death, but 85 priests in the village, along with men, women, children, babies, cattle, donkeys, and sheep were all slaughtered! Fortunately, one son of Ahimeleck survived and got word to David. There, David and his family, Ahimeleck’s son, and about 400 men stayed in caves and hid from Saul. The king’s men were commanded to hunt him like a dog, but David would not lay a finger on Saul to harm him.
There was a very fierce battle with the Philistine’s, and Jonathan and his two brothers were killed. In the same battle, King Saul is badly injured, knowing what the Philistines might do to him, he fell on his sword and died. David, being the man after God’s own heart that he was, grieved for his king and for his friend who perished. Normally the new king would kill all those who were hunting them, but not David. He sought to reunite Israel. There are many things David did well, and there were sinful mistakes he made; however, throughout all eternity, David will not only be known as the man after God’s own heart but is the king in the lineage of Jesus!
Absalom – A Self-Appointed Ruler
Earlier, when King David sinned with Bathsheba and ordered her husband to be killed, the judgment from the Lord was, “…the sword will never depart from your house… Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.”
This came about when Absalom, who was one of the king’s children by Maakah, was deeply offended with his father for not defending his sister’s honor when another of David’s sons forced himself upon her. David was very angry about the incident, but no real punishment came. Two years later, Absalom had his half-brother killed for this act and then fled. David grieved for his murdered son, but he loved Absalom and after three years he had him brought back into the kingdom. David was not repaid in kind, as his son had set his mind to usurp his father’s authority as king. Absalom went out early, standing at the gate of the city, and would greet the people with a kiss and listen to their grievances. He won their favor by promising if he were the ruler over the land, they would receive justice. This won the hearts of the people. It was said that there was no one more handsome than Absalom and he loved hearing the people’s praise. After four years, his support grew in power. He sent out secret messages to have his father overthrown, and again, Israel was divided.
King David had the choice to go to war with his son or leave. He trusted God to either return the kingdom to him or give it to Absalom, so he left Jerusalem with all his loyal people, but 10 of his concubines were to stay and take care of the palace. Once outside the city, he commanded Zadok the priest and his sons to take the ark to return to Jerusalem. When Absalom came into the city, he set up a tent in plain sight of all Israel and went into all the concubines. In this, he fulfilled the prophecy and defiled his father. At one point, Absalom went out to search for David to kill him but was caught by his hair in a mighty oak-like tree. David had given orders to bring Absalom back to him, but Joab and his men killed Absalom. He was deeply grieved, so grieved that David almost lost his army and faithful followers. They all knew Absalom would have gladly killed them! This shook the rightful king out of his grief.
David, a man after God’s own heart, refused to kill the anointed of God or any of Saul’s family or clan – even when taunted! He chose to live in caves for an undetermined amount of time not knowing if he would ever be free. He grieved when that king died and when the one who sought to kill and usurp his kingdom was killed. He didn’t treat Absalom as Saul had treated him. David trusted God and cared more about what the Lord thought of him than what people thought of him. Will we follow his example and be one that is known as a person “after God’s own heart”?