God’s Ice, God’s Cold and God’s Thaw — Psalm 147:15-18

 

            Last week God sent his commandment upon the earth; and his word ran very swiftly. Most of the State of Kentucky was suddenly covered with ice. We spent eight days without electricity. Many were without it longer. For many in our church family, and for thousands in our community and across the state, things were difficult. Eight days without light, or heat, or running water in your home in the dead of winter is not pleasant. Trees are broken down everywhere.

            During that time, I frequently read the 147th Psalm. As I did, I found striking parallels between the things I saw in God’s creation and providence and the things we experience in his grace. In fact, I am convinced that everything in God’s creation is designed by infinite wisdom to portray something about the new creation of grace. Let me show you.

He giveth snow like wool” (v. 16). — What a strange way to speak of snow! Can cold snow be compared to warm wool? Though the snow is cold, freezing cold, it forms a blanket like wool to protect the unseen vegetation beneath the earth. In fact, the freezing snow is necessary to protect the life and health of the vegetation hidden within the earth that it may revive and thrive at God’s appointed time. How often have you asked, “Lord, Why do I find such coldness in my soul? Why do such times of lukewarmness engulf my heart? Why am I so often hardened, frozen, like the ground covered with snow in the winter?” I really do not know how to explain what must be understood in this regard. — This, too, is according to the wise design and decree of our God. It is necessary to preserve the life he has planted within, to keep us clinging to Christ as our only Life and our only Salvation. God our heavenly Father gives the snow like wool!

He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes” (v. 16). — There is a black frost that brings death. You look out at the late spring frost with sadness, because every plant in the garden and every bud in the tree is black with death. The early frost has killed the tender life springing out of the earth. But the hoarfrost, though it burns, it makes everything sparkling white. So it is with our times of spiritual adversity. The more we are compelled to abandon all hope in self and trust our blessed Savior, the more we acknowledge and confess our sin and hope in his righteousness, the more beautifully we sparkle in his whiteness!

He casteth forth his ice like morsels” (v. 17). — What ice is this? Is it the light snow that is like a blanket of wool to the earth? Is it the driving sleet that is so painful to feel on your face that you are forced to seek refuge from it? Is it the beating hail that destroys every crop of human planting? Or is this ice the hard freeze of gradual accumulation that breaks weak limbs from the mighty oaks and dead branches from living trees? The ice here refers to every form of ice. Our Father casts it out of the windows of heaven, not as an instrument of destruction, but as morsels of bread for our souls.

Who can stand before his cold?” (v. 17) — When God withdraws his light, nothing is left but darkness; and when the Lord God withdraws the heat of the Sun of Righteousness, nothing is left but a coldness that cannot be thawed by any activity, a coldness that we cannot resist! But blessed be his name forever, that is not the last word about the matter!

He sendeth out his word, and melteth them. He causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow(v. 18). — At the time appointed, as surely as he sent the cold, our faithful God and Savior will send his Word to melt our hearts again before him. He will cause his wind (his Spirit) to blow upon his garden and make it spring forth with life, that the spices may flow out, that he may eat his pleasant fruits!

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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