The time of snow has come upon us again, and happy children, full of health and glee, will delight in the fun which the fighting of snow battles, the making of snow men, sleighing, tobogganing, and the various other amusements of the snow season bring to them.
The young people in our illustration are giving their old friend a ride in their mail-cart, and he seems to enjoy the fun as much as they do.
Some of our readers may have a little leisure to glean a lesson or two, of which we may be reminded as we gaze on the earth’s winter mantle.
What shall we learn from the snow? First of all that
GOD IS A GIVER.
“He giveth snow like wool” (Ps. 147:16).
For the benefit of man He causes the myriads of flakes to descend and to cover the surface of the ground. He cares for His creatures, and thus bestows upon them the blessings of His hand.
“He giveth.” Yes, He is a giving God. This is shown by the earthly mercies—the temporal advantages—He scatters so lavishly around; but above and beyond all, the gift that transcends all other gifts—the gift of His only begotten Son. That we might be blessed and brought near to Himself, He spared Him not, but delivered Him up for us all.
“Of twice ten thousand gifts divine,
No gift like this shall ever shine.”
Now let us think how the snow may remind us of
OUR NEED OF SALVATION.
Job could say, “If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean; yet shalt Thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me” (Job 9:30-31).
Here we may learn that nothing the sinner can possibly do can cleanse him from his sins, or make him fit for the presence of God. The purest snow from the mountains, melted into water, could not wash out the sin-stains.
Job felt this, and many of us have had to learn the hard lesson that no goodness or religiousness of our own could ever suit us for God’s holy eye; and yet we may be suited for it. There is a way of blessing, and this brings us to another snow lesson.
THE WAY OF SALVATION IS PROVIDED.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa. 1:18).
This verse gives God’s blessed invitation to the guilty, needy sinner; it bids him draw near. It tells him that God knows all about his sins, and yet that he may come.
God knew what His Son was going to do, that He was to suffer for sins, that His precious blood was to be shed for sinners, and thus He could righteously pass over the sins of His people of old.
And so today, looking upon the sacrifice of Jesus His Son, at Calvary, He can put away from His sight the sins of all the boys and girls who draw near; for, thank God, it is still true, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
One more lesson from the snow and I have done. It is a lesson of valour. It tells us
THE WAY OF STRENGTH.
If you turn to 1 Chronicles 11:22, you will find a record of a man named Benaiah, who went down “and slew a lion in a pit on a snowy day.” Benaiah was no coward, but was marked by energy and boldness. To face a lion single-handed in a pit, and on a snowy day, needed strength of character and bravery of a high order.
The name Benaiah is said to mean “built up of the Lord.” Now, being built up of the Lord is the true way of power for the young Christian—the old one, too, in this day, He is our strength. We have our lions to fight and slay; we have our strong enemies to overcome, and our places of difficulty to pass through, but if we draw our power from our Lord, He will uphold us, whatever the danger or trial.
Let us learn, then, this lesson, and be valiant in the strength which our Lord bestows, boldly confessing His name, and fighting the good fight of faith.
Scattered Seed 1896