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"While 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!" Matthew 17:5
The cloud was a symbol of the Divine presence. One of the writers says the disciples were afraid as they saw the cloud come down over the Master and the heavenly visitants. God still comes to us often in thick clouds — and we are afraid too. But the cloud meant no harm to the disciples. No cloud means any harm to a disciple — when God is in the cloud; and always, if we only listen, we may hear words of love.
There was a voice out of the cloud testifying to the Divine sonship. The disciples had been staggered at what Jesus had said about His rejection and death. Now they are assured that He is the Messiah, and that they must hear Him. Even if they could not understand, and if the things He said seemed to destroy all their hopes — they were still to hear.
There are times when God's ways with us seem very hard, and we think disaster is coming to every fair prospect in our life. In all such hours we should remember that He who rules over all — is the Son of God, our Friend and Savior; and our trust in Him should never fail. We should listen always to what He says; and when everything seems strange and dark — we should never doubt nor fear.
What so staggered the disciples then — we now see to have been the most glorious and loving wisdom. So in our strangest trials — there are the truest wisdom and the richest love. Hereafter we shall know. It was out of the cloud, that this voice came. Out of the clouds that hang over us — often come the tenderest voices of Divine love, the most precious disclosure of Divine grace.