"Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." Isaiah 1:18
Its the winteriest winter in the Okanagan that we have had in a long time. The snow came early in December & it just stayed instead of melting away like normal. A white Christmas it was indeed! It was fantastic. My husband & I were like little kids playing out in the snow in December. Sliding down the hill on crazy carpets, zipping the remote control snowmobile around on the street & watching the flakes fall with awe.
I love waking up to new fallen snow or watching it falling, especially if I have nowhere to go. Its gentle, its magical & its so clean & white. There is something so pure about snow.
However, it won't be long till we are longing for Spring. And if it doesn't come soon enough, we start dreaming about warm climates like the Caribbean or the Mediterranean.
When I think of locations in Biblical times, I think of sandy deserts, rocky valleys & warm climates around the Mediterranean. I don't think of climates in the snow. But snow is mentioned several times in the Bible, especially in reference to its color so it is obvious that it was around those areas too.
In both 2 Samuel & 1 Chronicles, snow is mentioned in reference with one of David's mighty men, Benaiah, "he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow " Assuming those lions were also in Moab, what can we learn about its climate?
The Biblical country of Moab is now part of modern day Jordan, on the east side of the Dead Sea. Its average yearly temperature is 20 Celcius but, in an extra cold year they can have up to 8 days of snow. Much milder than my beautiful Okanagan valley but just enough of a window for Benaiah to get out there & slay some lions or lionlike men.
Snow is also mentioned in reference to Lebanon in Jeremiah 18:14 "Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field?" Biblical Lebanon was much bigger than what modern day Lebanon is, a land full of natural beauty & high snowy mountains. In fact, many interpretations of the word Lebanon mean 'white' or 'snowy white'. With so many parts of the Bible occuring in around Lebanon, we can be sure that there were many experiences with snow around this area.
Statistics aside of WHERE snow was in Biblical times, the best reference to snow in the Bible was its purifying color. "says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" Isaiah 1:18 Wow! Scarlet has to be one of the richest & deepest colors that I can imagine. I think of the lasting stain that spilling some red wine can make on a white cloth and imagine that stain as my sin. Ugly, obvious & unremovable. I can try to clean it, hide it, cover it or put it in a closet, much like we try to do with our sin. But there is not one thing I can do to make that stain go away completely. So it is with my scarlet sin! Only God can make it white as snow!