The snow has come early this year. Just a few flakes at first, but within a few hours the landscape was clothed in a beautiful white blanket, pure and clean. Each of the trillions of snowflakes is unique, carrying the Creator’s signature. As darkness came and the temperatures fell, roads became difficult for those returning from work. Cars were abandoned as people began the long walk home.
The snow reminds us of one of God’s great promises to his people, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” God made this promise to a people who had rebelled against him. They were worshipping other gods, living immoral lives and being dishonest. They were seeking happiness in material things. They knew God’s law, but they wilfully and deliberately went their own way. It was not only individual people who did this, but as a nation they had turned away from the living God. So God spoke to them through his prophet Isaiah and called them to account. He did not immediately bring on them the judgement their sins deserve, but held out the promise of forgiveness and cleansing.
There are real parallels between those people and the way we are living today. Encouraged by politicians and unchallenged by weak church leaders our nation has turned from God. His moral law has been rejected as we have together decided to fulfil the desires of our own hearts. Inevitably we are reaping the painful consequences both personally and nationally.
There are times, however, when we face the reality of how we are living. Like a person who wakes after a night on the town and looks in the mirror, we don’t like what we see. We don’t like what we have become. In the light of who God is we see the tawdry life we are living and the deep stains our sins have left on our God-given conscience. We wish we could go back and change the things we have done, but it is impossible.
God’s solution is deep and real forgiveness. His Son, Jesus, died on the Cross to pay the price of our sin and rebellion. As we humbly confess our sins, and receive him as our Saviour, the scarlet stains of our sins are cleansed and we become as white and pure in God’s sight as the driven snow.