Snow is a powerful thing. A mere five second mention of it by the nightly weatherman can elicit a wide range of feelings and reactions.
On the one hand, there’s the “Snowmageddon” mentality that drives masses of wide-eyed shoppers to the grocery store to fight one another for the last containers of milk. It’s like a wintery version of the apocalyptic movie “Mad Max”. I expect one day to see a snow-crazed Mel Gibson leading a band of looters to smash down the doors of Food Lion because they just can’t live 48 hours without the all important, one dozen eggs.
On the other hand, there are those who find snow therapeutic and calming. It forces them to slow down or even stop completely. It makes them play with their kids. It affords them time to enjoy a good book by the fire. Snow has a restorative affect upon their families and personal psyche.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve had plenty of opportunity to enjoy, shovel, see, shovel, eat, shovel, experience, and shovel plenty of the white, cold precipitation from above. For some it has been a Winter Wonderland. For others it has been a Winter Wasteland. But regardless of whether you love or loathe snow, there are some beautiful biblical allusions from Scripture that snow should bring to mind.
The next time you find yourself trapped inside looking out at the snowy accumulation, take a moment to pick up your Bible. Read these verses and meditate upon the greatness of our God which is reflected in the falling flakes. Rather than letting the snow lead you to frustration, let it lead you to worship.
1. Snowfall is evidence of God’s sovereign rule over creation.
When blizzards roll in, people sometimes get upset at the weatherman. Let’s remember, the weatherman only forecasts the snowfall. It is God who causes it.
There are some beautiful poetic Bible verses which describe God using the elements of nature like an artist using his brush and paints.
“God does great things that we cannot comprehend. He says to the snow, ‘Fall to the earth’…from the breath of God ice is made…” (Job 37:5-6, 10).
The Psalmist, likewise says,
“God gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes…Who can stand before His cold?” (Psalm 147:16-17)
God commands the snow to blanket the earth and it obeys Him perfectly.
Why does He send the snow to fall? Job tells us.
“[The elements do] whatever He commands…whether for correction, or for His world, or for loving-kindness, He causes it to happen.” (Job 37:12-13)
The weather is an obedient part of creation that God uses for the good of His world and the glory of His name.
2. Snow should remind us to be thankful for God’s provisions of warmth and shelter.
It is too easy to take some things for granted. But even just a few minutes outside on a wintery, blustery, freezing day will remind you of how blessed you are to have a warm home, winter clothes, and hot chocolate. The Proverbs speak of the godly woman, in chapter 31. In verse 21 the Holman translation says,
“She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all in her household are doubly clothed.”
In other words, God provides her with plenty of material, so that she can provide her children with jackets and winter wear. The Proverbs 31 woman may sew the clothes together, but it is ultimately God who gives them their warmth.
3. Snow should remind us of the perfect, pure forgiveness of God.
In several places, early in the Old Testament, snow was used to describe the color or appearance of leprosy. Then, snow was associated with disease and corruption. However, later in the Hebrew Scriptures, the analogy of snow is used to depict just the opposite. In Psalms and Isaiah snow is a word picture used to describe the extent of purity and total cleansing that God gives to the repentant person.
In Isaiah 1, God levels some severe accusations against Israel for her rebellion. Yet, despite their sin, God holds out for them the promise of cleansing. He says,
” ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow’.”
A pile of freshly fallen snow is not just white on the surface. It is pure and white through and through. This is how thoroughly and completely our God forgives us in Christ. Upon our confession of sin, God not only forgives (those sins mentioned in prayer), He also cleanses us from all unrighteousness (those sins we are even unaware of). How deep the Father’s love for us!
4. Snow should remind us of the splendid appearance of our risen, glorified and coming Savior.
Snow is only mentioned twice in the New Testament. In Matthew, one of the angels at the tomb was recorded as having had a radiant appearance whose “clothing [was] as white as snow”. But in Revelation, John describes an even more glorious heavenly being. This time it is the Lord Jesus Himself.
The church has always believed that Jesus is returning. We are even told to be
“looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our Great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” (Titus 2:13)
What, exactly, will He look like when He returns? The apostle John was privileged to see the resurrected Jesus and describe Him for us. So, what did He look like? Well, He didn’t look like Jim Caviezel (the actor who played Jesus in the movie, The Passion). Nor did He look like Bob Marley. He looked splendid! He looked magnificent! He look unlike anything that John had ever seen.
“His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow, and His eyes were like a flaming fire.” (1:14)
Have you ever tried to stare at a brilliantly white field of snow on a bright sunny day? The sheen and shine of the snow makes your eyes water. It’s hard to even keep them open because of how dazzling and radiant it is. That’s how John saw the risen Jesus. He was glorious. He is glorious. And He will forever remain glorious into eternity!
Rest assured, the weather man will eventually call for snow again. But before you pick up your keys to run to the store and fight other shoppers or before you pick up your book to read by the fire, pause for a moment and remember, “The heavens (including that which falls from them) declare the glory of God…” (Psalm 19:1a)