“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land;
but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
- Isaiah 1:18-20
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
- Isaiah 55:10-11
The punishment of my people
is greater than that of Sodom,
which was overthrown in a moment
without a hand turned to help her.
Their princes were brighter than snow
and whiter than milk,
their bodies more ruddy than rubies,
their appearance like lapis lazuli.
But now they are blacker than soot;
they are not recognized in the streets.
Their skin has shriveled on their bones;
it has become as dry as a stick.
- Lamentations 4:6-8
Three different Scriptures using snow… The first looks at snow from the purity standpoint. If it is white snow, it is beautiful and extremely radiant when the sun reflects from it. The second describes snow as water, bringing water to the thirsty soil. And the third describes earthly radiance. It is different than the forgiven believer in the first Scripture reference. Lamentations looks at earthly splendor, that can easily be spoiled with sin. I have seen clean snow. I have seen gray snow with so much pollution that it quickly looks disgusting. Of course, when the animals get involved, you might have snow of different colors. In Lamentations, the princes of Sodom look as black as soot. After the first snowfall that I experienced in Germany, I had to give my white car a bath. It had turned gray with a noticeable layer of soot.
But the photo above is from ten days ago. It was still Fall. The snow in southwest Pennsylvania is usually the kind that is light and fluffy. The usual snow cannot make a snowball or a snowman. The snow is hard frozen, and the flakes do not stick to each other without warming them a bit. And the snow falls right past the trees.
But in the Fall and with late snowstorms in the Spring, the trees may not be cold enough; the snow is not perfectly frozen all the way to the ground. No, the snow sticks to the trees and then as it piles upon itself it coats the limbs. The snow on the ground was dense. The snow on the roads melted with just a hint of road salt. It was something rarely seen in winter. It was like God grabbed a gigantic flocking machine and flocked all the trees. Near where this photo was taken, an evergreen tree in someone’s yard was split into, so much snow on the limbs that the tree could not hold the weight.
This same snowstorm a month from now would be twice as thick on the ground, covering the road with slush or ice, and the trees would be bare, black, as in the Lamentations description, like soot.
But when you have this kind of breath-taking beauty, enjoy it.
And when you see that early clean snow, remember that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, God washes away our crimson stain and makes us as white as snow.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.