White as Snow
Two weeks ago I had the privilege to go up to Anchorage, Alaska for YMI. The purpose of my going up there was to meet with different churches in the Anchorage area to share with them the different ways that YMI can serve them. We realized that there aren’t really any organizations that will serve the churches in Alaska because it is so hard to get to. Being in WA, we saw that we had a chance to hep these churches with training youth to share their faith. Needless to say I ended up in Alaska for a couple days and it was COLD! At one point it dropped down to -10 degrees.
But while I was there I couldn’t help but notice the snow. I mean it was underneath my feet, it was on the roads, and it was on the hills all around. I couldn’t help but turn to Isaiah 1 in my mind. Let me explain, Isaiah 1 is all about how evil Jerusalem has become in the eyes of God. It is compared to Sodom and Gomorrah which is the synonym of evil in Scripture. but in the middle of the chapter of judgment that God is pronouncing on Jerusalem there are a few verses that just stand out.
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. “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. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
What an amazing promise to be washed as white as snow! I can tell you that sitting there looking at the snowy landscape of the hills around me the whiteness of snow is beautiful. This is the promise that God gave Israel. Though they were as evil as Sodom they would be forgiven to be as white as snow. No longer would they stand out like crimson but they would shine like snow. What an amazing God we have. He is able to forgive people that have wronged Him so bad. All that He asks in return is that Israel do good, seek justice, look after the orphan and the widow. Who can argue with that? What a deal!
But you know what, this was a promise given to Israel, but Jesus made this a reality for those of us who believe in Jesus. Scripture promises that we are a new creation and have been made righteous in Christ. We no longer are slaves to sin. Sin has lost its power and lost its sting. We have been forgiven! This should give us so much hope and peace. Now we should eagerly obey Him. Jesus said that those who love Him keep His commandments. This means we should live in such a way that God’s glory reflects off our white snow. May those who see us know that we have been forgive!