“As white as the driven snow,” wrote Shakespeare in A Winter’s Tale. In Macbeth the poet used the expression “pure as snow.” Is there any better metaphor for whiteness than snow?
We witnessed this first hand recently in Kansas City, Missouri. We’ve had snow. Lots of it! Over two feet. Following the first snow, Norma Jean and I marveled one night on how light everything looked behind our house. The snow was so white. So bright. So intense in color that it looked like day light!
But do you know what’s whiter than snow?
In the Bible the prophet Isaiah tells us. “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow…” (1:18).
Sin is black. Ugly. Dirty. Sin stains the soul. Soils the heart. Scars the conscience.
The Bible calls sin unrighteousness. Lawlessness. Transgression. (I Jn. 3:5; I Jn 5:17; Heb. 8:12).
Sin hurts. It hurts homes where there is infidelity and immorality. It hurts churches where their is envy and jealousy. It hurts communities where there is crime and wickedness. Sin disquiets the spirit. Troubles the mind and breaks hearts.
Sin is Sickening. Disgusting. Reprehensible. The Bible pictures sin with metaphors that depict it’s utter putridity.
Peter writes that sin is like a sow that is washed. You know one that is a prized pig that you show at the fair. He’s cleansed. Scrubbed. Groomed. Ready to parade before the judges. Then he wanders off and wallows in the muck and mire of a mud puddle. Now’s he filthy. That’s sin.
He also uses the illustration of a dog that eats something that doesn’t set well on its stomach and regurgitates its contents. But then returns to lick up the vomit. How nauseating! That’s sin. (2 Pet 2:22).
But in the midst of sin’s darkening effects and influences, there is good news. You can be cleansed from sin! How clean? Whiter than snow! And no one knows better than King David.
The man chosen by God to lead his people let Him down. The man “after God’s own heart” was led astray by the deception of his own heart. The man Israel adored, disappointed them. Badly. He lusted. He coveted and stole another man’s wife. He committed adultery. He was a collaborator in murder. He lied. And he tried to cover it up. He broke five of the ten commandments in one series of sins.
But he repented. In the Psalms he writes his honest, heart-rending confession. He begged God’s mercy. Forgiveness. Restoration. And he received it. So he says, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Ps 51:7).
How can I can a frail, feeble and sinful being be whiter than snow?
To a man named Saul who opposed Christianity and was an accessory to killing Christians, the preacher Ananias offered this invitation. “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
Saul’s sins were washed away in baptism. Is there power in the water? No! There is power in the blood! John wrote, Grace to you and peace…from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth…who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:4-5).
Yes, ironically, it is the blood that cleanses! The royal, ruby blood of Jesus can make you whiter than snow!
In the words of the 19th century song writer, James L. Nicholson, this is my plea and prayer.
Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul;
Break down every idol, cast out every foe—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
7 responses to “What is Whiter Than Snow?”
Reblogged this on ThePreachersWord and commented:
Today, we are “snow bound” in KCMO! So, I thought it would be appropriate to reblog this post.
Reminds me of the time we took the children to the snow in the hills of California, so clean and white…until they slid down the first hill and came up with dark cow poop all up their front sides! Sometimes what seems clean and pure must have a second look before ‘jumping right in’! Could be ‘transparent purity’, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Just a thought.
Norma Jean, Darlin’, you are looking as pretty as ever! You even make all that snow look good! And, brother Ken, excellent illustrations and vivid points!
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Ken, I appreciated the reblog this morning letting us know all the events that happened on March 4 but different times. I will add one to that, our daughter was born on that day, 1961. Wow! This is a nice picture of Norma Jean and I’m sure it brings back many memories.