As I drove East on the 101 this past Saturday afternoon, I marveled at the snow-capped mountain scenery surrounding me. For a moment, I felt like I was transported to Salt Lake city or the Colorado Rockies! It was exciting to revel in God’s gift of mother nature, particularly in such an unusual place. New stations have been all abuzz about the weather reports, traffic conditions, and snow play. Chit chat about cold weather contrasts with Target ads for swimsuits.
We just don’t typically think of snow when we think of Phoenix. I wouldn’t necessarily think of snow when I think of Biblical times, either. I’m certainly no climatologist, but the bible does, in fact, reference snow in several verses. I have to imagine that snow has dusted the mountains surrounding and in the towns of Bible times, as well as present day. In fact, a quick Google search tells me that Jerusalem receives snowfall at least once or twice a year. And my memory of Christmas cards seems to depict snowy scenes in Bethlehem, as a brilliant star bathes the manger and town in cozy light.
Most Bible references of snow are comparing it to something that’s the color white (unfortunately, leprosy skin!) or beards. However, white is also the color of purity. Perhaps the most memorable verse is Isaiah 1:18: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as well.” (KJV)
This is definitely some amazing reverse color engineering. I can think of those times when some article of red clothing got mixed into the wash cycle with the white socks and underwear, and well, you know….it all comes out pink! Now, imagine our bright red sins going into God’s purification spin cycle–and coming out white as snow!
I hope this provides a different word-picture for the word snow. Just as God can transform a dry, brown, dusty winter desert into a lovely winter wonderland, He transforms our lives with His cleansing power. As we enjoy this unusual climatic change…and dread those summer months…perhaps the next time you see a snow-capped mountain, you’re reminded that God uses snow to represent how pure our souls are, because our sins have been washed away.