White as Snow
February 4, 2011 Leave a comment
I currently live in Siloam Springs, Arkansas (or Antarkansas as I like to call it right now). Arkansas is in the South. The South does not typically get snow, not to mention about seven and a half inches of snow (with more coming down as I write this). This is what it looks like outside right now:
Whenever it snows like this, it reminds me of Isaiah 1:18-20 (ESV, emphasis added):
18 “Come now, 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 become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be eaten by the sword;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
To understand this passage better, it is best to know its context. The book of Isaiah is written to the nation of Judah (the southern kingdom of Israel) during the eighth century B.C. when they were facing pressure from a combined Israeli and Syrian army to the north. Judah’s king, Ahaz, is thinking about allying himself with the Assyria rather than trust in God’s promise to preserve the Davidic throne. Isaiah goes to Ahaz to persuade him to trust in God rather than in earthly powers, which is where the above passage comes from. (Ahaz ends up going against God and Isaiah and forming a pact with Assyria- see 2 Kings 16:5-9)
Even though this passage was written several hundred years before Christ came, the truth found in it is still applicable for believers today (Why? See 2 Tim 3:16-17). Like the nation of Judah, Christians today too often try to overcome adversity in their own power or with the help of man-made inventions and trappings. In effect, they are trying to save themselves instead of trusting in the only One who can truly save them- the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul addresses the issue of works-based salvation in his letter to the Ephesian church:
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV, emphasis added)
However, despite the stubbornness of Ahaz and the rest of humanity, God extends the invitation to “reason together.” He still offers the same two alternatives to people today that He did when Isaiah penned his book to Ahaz and the nation of Judah: 1) Repent and believe in Jesus Christ (Isa. 1:19) or 2) Continue in rebellion and put faith in things of this world (Isa. 1:20). The promise for those that put their trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior is that though their sins stand out like scarlet, His grace will cover over them and make them as white as snow. What a beautiful promise on a snowy day!
So, as you are tromping through the snow the next few days remember this: if you are a believer, your sins have been washed away by the blood of the Lamb and you are white like the snow you see all around you. Definitely something to be thankful for!
Learn It. Love It. Live It.
Here is a video that my roommates and I made of us “snow diving” into the 24.5 inches that fell during the second round of snow:
Here are some bonus snow pictures: