Meditations on Snow
Some of us like a good snow storm – those that can’t wait to go out and play in it. Others see it as a big bother – enough to want to move to the South in the winter.
And although the news folks like to “hype” up the fact that a nor’easter is coming our way, remember that in New England, it is a normal occurrence.
Wherever you are on the snow storm appreciation continuum, know that snow is a form of precipitation that is spoken of in the Bible.
We sometimes think of the land of Israel as a dry place consisting mostly of desert. Yet there are mountains and areas of green vegetation. In fact, they have seasons. It does snow in the Holy Land. One travel website notes the following:
Israel is a land of diverse landscapes. It is mountainous in the northern part of Israel while southern Israel boasts of humid coastal temperatures. The snow-capped mountains in the north are the source of the freshwater lakes and rivers of Israel. It is not a very common winter destination for travelers from around the world which makes the concept of snowfall in Israel unheard of. It snows every year in the region of Golan Heights and Hula Valley while the Negev Desert and the coastal cities in the south enjoy the Mediterranean climate.
I have stated in the past that snow is gospel precipitation. What exactly do I mean by that?
The word, “Snow”, occurs 23 times in the NKJV bible.
It carries with it several metaphors that contain gospel truths.
Let’s consider 3.
1)Snow is part of God’s provision for creation.
10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater,
We understand that snow is frozen rain. Rain is necessary. In fact, if we did not have snow in the winter, we would need to have a significant amount of rain in the spring to offset the lack of snow. Too much rain in the spring brings flooding and erosion. Far better to have gently melting snow that waters the earth and prepares it for spring and the time of planting.
Back in my grammar school days, when I first learned the basic “water cycle”, I was fascinated by it. Weather is tied into the water cycle. Weather fascinates me. It fascinates just about everyone. When you have a TV channel dedicated solely to weather, that is pretty much saying that the fascination with weather is universal among people.
As Christians, let’s move beyond the fascination and focus our fascination on the God that provides for this old world. Thank Him in season and out of season. We should be thankful for the seasons, and the weather associated with all 4 of them.
The “good news” (i.e. gospel) is that God provides. When we say “God Provides” we are speaking in universal terms. He provides everything. We cannot even breath if He does not provide air with the right mixture of oxygen. We cannot have food if the ground is not watered. So, even when the ground is solid and no water could even penetrate, he made snow to just sit there for a while and wait for the springtime. As it gently melts the earth is provided for. Even more, we are provided for.
Most importantly, we cannot be forgiven and made fit to dwell with Him for eternity if he doesn’t provide the way to Him. Thanks be to God for Christ!
2)Snow is a metaphor for a soul forgiven by God.
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Did you ever wonder why snow is white? When light hits the snow, it is scattered and bounces off the ice crystals in the snow. The reflected light includes all the colors, which, together, look white.
We know that white stands for purity. White robes at our baptism speak of our forgiveness from sin in Jesus Christ. The white gown of the bride speaks of her chastity as she enters holy matrimony.
Purity. Cleanliness. Stainless. These are the words we think of with the color of white.
Once a snow storm passes, look again at the woods, rivers, and fields. What was once brown and barren looking, becomes a glorious feast for the eyes. White everywhere!
Isaiah received a prophetic word from the Lord. It was for God’s people. They had sinned. They had strayed from the path of the Lord. Isaiah would be the mouthpiece of God’s rebuke of their waywardness.
Yet, even at the beginning of his prophesy there is the promise – your sins, though scarlet red, shall be white as snow!
How! Because they still had a God that forgives. The reason for Gods messengers, the prophets, was not to simply depress people with doom. It was to shake them to awaken them. To inform them of this truth: God will abundantly pardon!
That is exactly what David experienced. He had committed gross sin. But once he turned to God, he experienced a purging of his soul. It was now white.
When you look on the aftermath of one of our “nor’easters”, look past the labor that is required to dig out. Pause for a moment. Look around. Find a place of solitude in your back yard and just look at the snow. And be reminded that in Christ, you are as white as the snow!
3)Snow is a picture of the Holy Majesty of God
3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.
14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
Only a few people in the Bible got a visual glimpse of what God looks like. In Mark 9 we read of a time when Jesus allowed 3 of his disciples to see His true essence. It was Peter, James, and John who were invited to ascend to the mountain where Jesus would transfigure before them. In Revelation, John had a vision of Jesus on the throne.
Snow is referenced to explain what they saw. They used the best earthly illustration to try and explain what they beheld with their own two eyes. They saw Jesus in all his glory. His majesty. His holiness. His perfection.
Notice that one must be allowed to witness such a reality. Peter, James, and John were allowed/invited by Jesus to go up to the mountain where he was transfigured before them. They saw the glory of Jesus – white as snow. It was another proof of his Divinity.
John was allowed to see the “One on the throne”. Yet another glimpse into a thrilling reality for the believer. It is the reality that will one day be ours who are in Christ. To see Jesus in dazzling brilliance.
One of my favorite Hymns is “One Day”. The refrain states:
Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever:
One day He’s coming—O glorious day!
Loved ones! There is coming a glorious day! One Day those of us who by faith have trusted Christ for salvation will be invited in to see his Holy snow-whiteness!
This encompasses all the virtue of Christ that can be experienced by the one forgiven.
Joy, peace, security, blessing, satisfaction. And on and on.
Yes! It also includes being allowed to enter the place where we will behold the “snow- white” majesty of Christ.
1 John 3:2
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
So, as you gaze upon the wonder of a snowstorm. As you survey the blanket of white that is left behind. Stop. Pause. Worship.
In Christ, you are His.
1)You are provided for.
2)You are forgiven.
3)You will one day behold the snow-white glory of your Savior.
If you would like to study further, here are the list of verses referencing snow.
Exo 4:6, Num 12:10, 2Ki 5:27, Job 6:16, Job 9:30, Job 24:19, Job 37:6, Job 38:22, Psa 51:7, Psa 68:14, Psa 147:16, Psa 148:8, Pro 25:13, Pro 26:1, Pro 31:21, Isa 1:18, Isa 55:10, Jer 18:14, Lam 4:7, Dan 7:9, Mat 28:3, Mar 9:3, Rev 1:14