Snow is frozen water, and water is clear. So why does it look white? Scientists explain that individual ice crystals are not purely transparent but translucent, causing the particles of light to change direction. The reflected light bounces every color of light in equal frequency back to us, making the snow appear pure white to the human eye.
Our verse of the day uses the whiteness of snow to contrast the stain of our sin with the purity of forgiveness. We are made clean, new, and fresh through God’s redemption.
The first half of the chapter focuses on the sin of the nation of Judah. They had been disobedient and stood in desperate need of forgiveness: “Your hands are full of blood!” (v. 15). God’s people must repent and be cleansed from the dark stain of sin. “Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight” (v. 16).
Notice that we must both stop doing wrong and learn how to do right. We should reject selfishness and advocate for the needy. Instead of seeking our own advantage, we should pursue justice (v. 17). Instead of false religious piety, we should practice humility before the Lord. The profusion of our religious show does not hide our unwillingness to confess our sins before God (vv. 11–15).
Forgiveness required turning to God in confession. If they would turn from their wicked ways and seek His face, God would forgive their sins and make them white as snow (v. 18). Notice the dramatic contrast of the consequences of humility versus pride. Obedience brings great reward (v. 19) and eliminates horrific tragedy (v. 20). But a heart stubbornly turned against God will not succeed (vv. 27–31).
A bride would hardly be comfortable walking down the aisle with a large stain on the front of her gown. But sometimes we walk around wearing our sin, unwilling to turn to God in repentance. As you pray today, ask God to give you His perspective on your sin and identify any areas of your life that need to be made “white as snow.”