Alone On The Mount

      Moses, alone upon the mount, reviewed his past life of vicissitudes and hardships since he turned from courtly honors and from a prospective kingdom in Egypt, refusing to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God. He calls to mind his humble shepherd's life, and, while tending his flock, the wonderful sight of the flaming bush, and the Lord's there sanctifying him for the work, and intrusting to him the responsible mission of delivering Israel from their oppression. He came down from point to point in his experience. He called to mind the mighty miracles of God's power in the plagues of Egypt to make Pharaoh willing to let the people go; the Hebrews' walking through the Red Sea on dry ground, while the waters were standing as a wall on either side; the symbol of the divine presence in the pillar of cloud by day, and of fire by night; the water given them from the flinty rock; the daily bread which, during the night, fell from heaven round about their tents; the victories God had given them over their enemies; their quiet and secure rest in the midst of a vast wilderness; and the unsurpassed glory and majesty of God which he had been permitted to witness. As he reviewed these things, he was overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness and power of God. His promises were sure to Israel. When they were faithful and obedient, no good thing promised had been withheld from them. But in consequence of their continual backslidings and grievous sins, forty years were consumed in their wanderings in the wilderness.    

     He had been disappointed and grieved because of the continual rebellion of Israel; yet he had not sinned against God until he became impatient with Israel, and spoke unadvisedly with his lips. Notwithstanding all his labors and burdens for rebellious Israel during their forty years' journeying, only two of those in that vast army who were above twenty years old when they left Egypt, were found so faithful that they could see the promised land. The Lord had said that they should fall in the wilderness for their transgressions. They had evil hearts of unbelief. Moses' laborious task, as he reviewed the result of his labors, seemed almost in vain.    

     Moses submitted to God's decree in regard to himself. He regretted not the burdens he had borne for an ungrateful people who had not appreciated his labors, his anxious care and love for them. He knew that his mission and work were of God's own appointing. When the Lord first made known to Moses his purposes to qualify him to lead his people from slavery, he shrank from the responsibility, and entreated the Lord to choose some one better qualified to execute this sacred work. His request was not granted. Since he had taken up the work, he had not laid it down, nor cast aside the burden. Several times the Lord proposed to release him, and destroy rebellious Israel; but Moses could not let Israel go. He chose still to bear the burden the Lord had intrusted to him. He had been so especially favored of God, and had obtained so rich an experience during his travels in the wilderness, in witnessing the manifestations of God's miracles and his excellent glory, that he concluded, in reviewing the scenes of his life, that he had made a wise decision in choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. He regretted not his sufferings and hardships. Only one unfortunate act marred his illustrious experience. If he could atone for this one transgression, he would be reconciled to die. He was told that repentance, humiliation, and faith in the Son of God, who was to die man's sacrifice, was all that God required. This sinless and perfect offering would be fully acceptable with God, and would link finite man, though fallen, if repentant and obedient, to his own sacredness.    

     As angels presented to Moses a panoramic view of the land of promise, he could take in the whole scene, and appreciate with almost divine clearness its magnificence. It was as a second Eden, abounding in fruit trees of almost every variety, and very beautiful ornamental trees and flowers. There were goodly cities, with brooks and springs of water. There were fields of wheat and barley, and vineyards, and fig trees, and pomegranates, and oil olive, and honey. The Lord had said, "Thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack anything in it."    

     Moses was shown future events, especially those connected with the first advent of Jesus Christ. He was shown important, thrilling scenes in the life of Christ, and the very places where these scenes would be enacted. He saw his humble birth, and the angels proclaiming the glad tidings to the shepherds, "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Moses saw that Christ had exchanged his majesty and splendor for the manger of Bethlehem. He heard the joyful voices of the shining host of Heaven break forth in that divine song, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." He saw the Saviour of the world humbly walking through the streets of Bethlehem, divested of kingly honors, without pomp or grandeur. He saw the manner of his rejection by the proud and corrupt Jewish nation. They despised and rejected Him who had come to give them life. Here was their only star of hope. He saw the great agony of the Son of God in the garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Jesus into the hands of a mob which was infuriated by Satan. He saw the cruel mockings and scourgings instigated by his own nation, and their last crowning act of nailing him to the cross; and Moses saw that, as he had lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of God was lifted up on the wooden cross. He saw him bleeding and dying, that whosoever should believe in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

     Grief, amazement, indignation, and horror, were depicted on the countenance of Moses, as he viewed the hypocrisy and satanic hatred manifested by the Jewish nation against their Redeemer, the mighty angel who had gone before their fathers, and wrought so wonderfully for them in all their journeyings. He heard his agonizing cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" He saw him rise from the dead, and walk forth a triumphant conqueror, and ascend to his Father escorted by adoring angels. The gates of the city were opened by angels, who welcomed their divine Commander back with songs of glory and everlasting triumph. Moses' countenance changed, and shone with a holy radiance, as he viewed the glory and triumph of Christ. How small appeared all his hardships, trials, and sacrifices, when compared with those of the divine Son of God! He rejoiced that he had chosen to suffer affliction with the people of God, and in a small measure be a partaker with Christ of his sufferings.    

     It was not the will of God that any one should go up with Moses to the top of Pisgah. There he stood, upon a high prominence upon Pisgah's top, in the presence of God and heavenly angels. After he had viewed Canaan to his satisfaction, he lay down, like a tired warrior, to rest. Sleep came upon him, but it was the sleep of death. Angels took his body and buried it in the valley. The Israelites could never find the place where he was buried. His secret burial was to prevent the people from sinning against the Lord by committing idolatry over his body. 

1SP 337-341