By Donald P. Ames
Having just come in from shoveling out my driveway for the third time in as many days so far this week, I decided to put into print several thoughts going through my mind regarding sin and snow. Now, you may be wondering what in the world these two items could possibly have in common, but I do believe we shall be able to see some interesting parallels as we study together.
Beauty Vs. Ugly
I must admit there are few scenes that are as appealing as to awaken and see a fresh coat of snow covering everything around. It is a beauty that invites camera bugs to jump out of bed and go picture snapping before breakfast. Everything looks so clean and lovely that you desire to preserve such beauty in whatever form you can. Indeed, this reminds us of the statement made in Isa. 1:18 by the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow.” David says, “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psa. 51:7). Such beauty and freshness is what was in the mind of these writers.
But let that snow lie there for several days to collect all the pollution in the air, the slush from the dirty roads, and tracks from everyone slopping through it; and the picture changes. The beauty becomes tarnished, ugly and unappealing. There is no desire to get out and go picture taking and no “ah’s” as you look at it. Sin can do the same thing to even the purest of souls. Children are born into this world in purity and innocence-souls as clean as any can possibly be. But let that beauty become dirtied up with sin later in life, and it loses its attractiveness. It even forces God to turn away from such (Isa. 59:1-2) until we “wash away your sins” (Acts 22:16) and return them to the purity they once possessed (Matt. 18:3).
Fun Vs. Disgust
Snow, especially at the beginning of winter, is fun. My youngest son can hardly wait for a snow storm so he can play in it. It appeals to new adventures, and “like the cold of snow in the time of harvest . . . refreshes the soul . . .” (Prov. 25:13). Sin also appeals to us for new adventures and pleasures. Paul spoke of Moses refusing the “pleasures of sin” (Heb. 11:25). Especially in its early stages, sin can appeal to many. This accounts for the alluring ads and appeals of social drinking, mixed swimming, dancing, bingo, etc.
But snow in large quantities loses much of that appeal. When it blocks traffic (like the blizzard ,of ’67and today), or accounts for vast gas, work and crop shortages (as the record cold and snow of this winter have), suddenly we begin to wish for less. News of more on the way is greeted with groans. And, yes, sin in larger . quantities also loses its appeals. When drunkenness replaces social drinking, it is not nearly as appealing. When fornication, full-scale gambling, crime in the streets, drug addicts, homosexuals bragging on TV, etc. are seen in their end results, sin turns us off rapidly. We read of such conditions as Rom. 1:26-32, 1 Cor. 6:9-10 and Gal. 5:19-21, and we do not find it very attractive grouped together as sin. The fun has vanished with heavy doses.
Shoveling Again, and Again
Likewise, as I look out at my drive-shoveled out completely less than 2 hours ago and already drifting back in rapidly, with radio reports of “four more inches coming,” I realize quickly there is a lot more shoveling to be done. Unfortunately, once done, the job is not finished for all time regardless of how clean I may have done it the first time. And likely, as future winter snows come, it will have to be shoveled again, and again, and again!
The same is true of sin. Although we may have rendered obedience to the gospel and freed our souls from sin (Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:7), we are not going to keep sin out completely (1 John 1:8). Though we are not to allow it to reign (Rom. 6:12; 1 John 3:9) — any more than a shoveled driveway was shoveled to allow new drifts to be formed — the fact remains Satan will seek every opportunity to re-introduce sin to us again (1 Pet. 5:8). When such occurs, we must re-shovel, we must repent and seek forgiveness that we may be cleansed again (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9). If we do not seek forgiveness, but choose to ignore God’s provisions to be cleansed, the drifts will settle back in and all the efforts will be wasted as we become bogged down in it (Heb. 3:12). Thus, again and again we must appeal for the blood of Christ to cover our short comings and mistakes as we repent and press on toward His perfection. There is no such thing as a drive once shoveled always being shoveled (or, once saved, always saved) in a snowstorm of sin.
And, now if you will excuse me, I will go out and again shovel out those drifts so I can get the car out again. (Now watch this article get caught in snow weather and fail to turn up in .the magazine until midsummer scorchers of about 95 degrees! Oh well, the point is still worth noting!)
Truth Magazine XXI: 49, pp. 779-780
December 15, 1977