Images like this make me deliriously glad I live in the tropics. At least in February.
Still we have endured our share of cold this winter in Florida. Several times lately I’ve asked various people with tongue in cheek, “When will the Lord turn the heater back on around here?”
The statement belies correct theology as evidenced by a passage like Psalm 147:12-20.
12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
14 He makes peace in your borders;
he fills you with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool;
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
19 He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and rules to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his rules.
Praise the Lord!
Among the things the psalmist cites for reasons to give praise to God he includes the commands of His word in swift providence that send snow like wool and cold before which no one can stand. Those same snows melt when and only when He sends out His word for that purpose.
Praise God for the cold, the snow, the frost, the wind, the rains. None of them comes apart from the issuance of His word.
As wondrous as that truth is, it’s not all the truth nor the only reason to praise. God sends out His word not just as creator and sustainer of the earth but as redeemer and revealer to His people. Verse 19 says He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel. No other people enjoy such a privilege according to v. 20. This is indeed reason to praise the Lord. He has given His people His word. He has revealed His truth — truth that sets us free, free indeed (John 8:32).
Charles Spurgeon wrote in his masterpiece, The Treasury of David:
He who is the Creator is also the Revealer. We are to praise the Lord above all things for his manifesting himself to us as he does not unto the world. Whatever part of his mind he discloses to us, whether it be a word of instruction, a statute of direction, or a judgment of government, we are bound to bless the Lord for it. He who causes summer to come in the place of winter has also removed the coldness and death from our hearts by the power of his word, and this is abundant cause for singing unto his name. As Jacob’s seed of old were made to know the Lord, even so are we ill these latter days; wherefore, let his name be magnified among us. By that knowledge Jacob is ennobled into Israel, and therefore let him who is made a prevailing prince in prayer be also a chief musician in praise. The elect people were bound to sing hallelujahs to their own God. Why were they so specially favoured if they did not, above all others, tell forth the glory of their God?
So as we gather together tomorrow on the Lord’s Day, let us give thanks to the Lord and praise Him for His word that gives snow like wool and truth like keys that open sin’s prison doors and sets the captives free.