Whiter than snow

 

By Don Ruhl

 

For centuries the weather has had a dramatic affect on people, such as whether they could farm, travel, or even survive, and if shelter was not available, they had to migrate according to weather patterns. Their lives were contingent upon the weather. Even today in many other parts of the world the weather still plays an important factor in the lives of the people.

However, for the average American weather is little more than a convenience or inconvenience, something to make us happy or something to irritate us. Only about 2% of Americans are farmers anymore, and even then while the weather is still a factor, it is not as much as in ages past, because we have built reservoirs, engineered plants that do better in drought, and so forth.

Modern means of travel, heating, and air conditioning enable us to bypass the weather and to create our own weather, though the weather can still get the better of us at times.

Currently Snow Is On Our Minds

Therefore I want to use what is occupying our minds so heavily right now to see something in God’s word. I realize that this could be a rather cold article, so I will try to warm your soul with some insight from the Sacred Scriptures.

Snow Is The Creation Of God

Snow, like everything else in creation, tells us of God’s everlasting power and divinity and shows His glory and handiwork. Being creationists we are led to conclude that God created snow, though snow probably was not a reality at the beginning. Snow may have come into being as a result of Noah’s Flood.

Before the Flood, the entire earth was like a paradise, as Scripture seems to indicate and discoveries in Arizona, Alaska, Siberia, the Sahara and other places show that lust green forests once thrived in places where it would be impossible now, either because of the extreme cold or extreme heat.

The Flood brought worldwide changes topographically (Psa 104.6–9), and climatically, when the water canopy was brought down in the forty-day and -night rain.

That snow is the creation of God and is controlled by Him is affirmed in Scripture.

Elihu, as he debated with Job and denounced Job’s friends for not helping him, was confident that snow fell at God’s command (Job 37.5, 6). Of course, there is no reason to dispute the words of Elihu, because all of creation or nature is waiting for the beckon of God.

That snow is obedient to God is affirmed confidently by the psalmist (Psa 147.15–18). Therefore, the snow praises God (Psa 148.7, 8, 13).

Can we do any less than the snow? Truly the snow ought to cause us to praise God rather than curse Him for sending it. Remember He is the Creator and is still running things, which means that He has a purpose for the snow. Granting that there are hazards with snow, as with almost all of creation, there are beauties and blessings.

The beauties of snow are observed from the single flake to a landscape covered in the white blanket. One of the amazing things about the beauty of snow is the endless variety of each flake. Sometimes three or twelve branched flakes can be found. The shape arises from the oxygen atoms. It is said that no two are alike. How does man know? Perhaps because man thinks that he has never seen twin snowflakes, but who wants to go and check each flake to see if this theory is right?

The blessings of snow are hidden because they are delayed and often irritate us before delivering their life-giving substance.

Snow is made because water freezes in the atmosphere and falls, but to be of any use it must remain frozen—at least in the mountains—to provide us with water during the months when rain is rare. Snow does not absorb solar radiation very well, so it usually gets colder after a snowfall, thus remaining frozen in the winter and blessing us later when it warms enough to melt.

Snow falls on all the continents and covers 23% of the earth, including the oceans (50% of land and 10.5% of the oceans), either permanently or temporarily.

Snow Is Used Symbolically Or With Illustrative Purposes In The Bible

The Bible uses snow to illustrate things for us, usually using its whiteness to make a point. Leprosy is compared to snow, which gives us insight to the kind of leprosy that it was. As we read these passages the first thing to do is picture in your mind snow, then imagine leprosy in your mind.

When God was commissioning Moses for the work of leading Israel out of Egypt and Moses was hesitant, God demonstrated to Moses how he could use miraculous power to convince Israel that he was sent by God, “Furthermore the LORD said to him, ‘Now put your hand in your bosom.’ And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow” (Exo 4.6). Miriam experienced this miraculous phenomenon as a form of punishment for questioning God’s authority through her brother Moses (Num 12.10). Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, was punished with leprosy, as white as snow, for his greed (2Ki 5.27).

The actions of God are compared to the actions of snow.

In scattering kings, His actions are compared to snow, “When the Almighty scattered kings in it, It was white as snow in Zalmon” (Psa 68.14). Snow does fall in parts of Palestine and is a welcomed sight when it is seen on the mountain tops, likewise when God scattered enemy kings it was a welcomed and refreshing sight, for as the snow gives life, so without the enemy kings Israel would have life.

The sufficiency of God’s word is compared to the watering effect of snow upon the earth, giving water to the earth, enabling crops to be grown (Isa 55.10, 11). Snow was not created by God to aggravate us, but to bless us. The same is true of the word. Sometimes we may wonder what good it will do to teach the word, but give it time and let it work and blessings will flow, even as snow blesses us later.

The timing of snow is used to illustrate the actions of people. A faithful messenger is like the cold of snow in harvest, refreshing the hot workers (Pro 25.13). Harvesting in the hot sun is hard work, so the cold of snow is refreshing. Sending messages are important, so one who delivers them faithfully is refreshing to the sender.

Honoring a fool is like having snow in the summer (Pro 26.1). Snow in the middle of summer can ruin many crops, so honoring a fool will only ruin him.

The foolishness of Israel forsaking God is like a man forsaking the water from melting snow (Jer 18.14). This passage affirms what is obvious to the casual observer that snow in a far away place can provide for water at home. Who would want to reject those ever-flowing waters? That is exactly what Israel did by rejecting God and that is what Christians do who walk away from God.

The bright glory of God and Jesus is often compared to the bright white of snow (Dan 7.9; Mark 9.3 KJV, NKJV; Rev 1.14). This should lead us to realize just who Jesus is. One of the angels at the tomb after the resurrection of Jesus had “raiment white as snow” (Matt 28.3), since he was from heaven.

Other references to snow in the Bible:

A feat of one of David’s mighty men is highlighted with snow when Benaiah, “killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day” (2Sa 23.20; 1Ch 11.22).

In addition to the references we have already read in Job, here are three more: Job 6.16; 9.30; 24.19.

The Bible does acknowledge the difficulty of snow, but the worthy woman is not afraid of it (Pro 31.21).

You can be whiter than snow

The Bible uses snow to tell us of a great spiritual truth, illustrating one of the grandest blessings. Before Jerusalem’s fall into sin, the nobles were said to be purer than snow (Lam 4.7). Snow is probably the purest form of water, not having been polluted with anything on the ground. Snow is what provides us with fresh drinking water.

God reasoned with Israel that through His forgiveness they could be as white as snow (Isa 1.18). In fact, David knew that when God washed him David would be even whiter than snow (Psa 51.7).

These are not mere academic things or beautiful for the sake of poetry. God is inviting you to something far more pure than snow. Make yourself whiter than snow by submitting to Jesus Christ, being baptized in water and He will cleanse you, making your soul whiter than snow.

220 Savage Street • Grants Pass • Oregon • 97526-1310 • 541-476-3100 • rdruhl@aol.com

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