Numbers 14:28, 33 (NIV) 28So tell them, 'As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say:
33Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert.
The nation had come right up to the boundaries of the Promised Land and been afraid to trust God. They wanted to kill Moses and Joshua and elect a new leader to take them back to Egypt. Their lament was, "If only we had died in Egypt or in this wilderness." So God gave them their request. They wished they had died in the wilderness, and their sentence is exactly what they asked for. That is often the sentence God gives man, what he demands. If we could just have faith that what He has planned for us is so much better than our own ideas, we would move forward into the Promised Land. Instead, many demand death in the desert.
That is a sad thing, and yet it is what we asked for. But the really sad thing is that our children suffer from our faithless choices. While we are wandering in the wilderness, they are wandering with us. Instead of settling them down in the Promised Land, and giving them a better start in their life, we leave the battles ahead to them. Faith and the fruit of it is the greatest inheritance you could possibly leave your children. A nice cave in the desert near a spring does not compare.
How is your life affecting your children? Are you beginning a legacy of faith or building a foundation for them on shifting sand? Our lives affect so much more than our own daily comfort. What are you sowing?
Meditation: What kind of spiritual legacy will I leave my children?
Matthew 17:2, 4-5 (NIV) 2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 4Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." 5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"
Scholars struggle with the location of this mountain. They believed it was Mount Tabor until an archeological discovery showed that people lived on Tabor at that time. Remember, they were in Caesarea Philippi immediately preceding this. Many now believe it was Mount Hermon. The prophets, Moses and Elijah, talked with Jesus, and Jesus' glory was revealed. Moses may be representing the Law and Elijah the prophets. Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the prophets.
What they spoke of is a mystery. Peter, never at a loss for something to say, suggested he build three shelters for them so they could stay awhile. Mountain top experiences are short and powerful times of encouragement to strengthen us for the return to the valley. We aren't meant to stay up there. Our work is down here among humanity. It is interesting that Jesus warned them of His death before He allowed them to see His glory.
The only other words recorded from this experience are that of Almighty God. God repeated what He had said at Jesus' baptism, only He added one more sentence. "Listen to Him!" The Jews understood a cloud to be the presence of God. They had the story of the cloud on Mount Sinai. Notice the passage says, "while he was still speaking". God interrupted Peter. Peter had nothing important to say, but Jesus does. This man, Jesus, is the Son of God. He is loved of God. His actions are pleasing to God. You better listen to Him! That is what Moses prophesied 1500 years earlier in Deuteronomy 18:15 (NIV) The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. God said it through Moses, and then He spoke directly to them. Listen to Jesus!
Consider: We often wish God would speak to us in an audible voice. I think if He did, you would hear the same message. He has been speaking it throughout the ages. "Listen to Jesus!" Take the time to hear Him today.