In 2014 in the Scottish region of Fife, 14-year-old David Hall was doing a bit of exploring with his metal detector when, suddenly, it started beeping like crazy! You ever been to the beach and seen the old guys out there with their metal detectors, hoping to find a quarter or two, or maybe a gold ring or watch? Well, David landed upon what every one of those old guys could only dream of—a treasure trove of over 200 silver coins and fragments that had been lying undiscovered for about 1700 years! Apparently, the coins were used by the Romans as a way of bribing the Scots who were outside the boundaries of the empire. Anyway, think about it. For hundreds of years people walked by, around, and over this treasure completely oblivious to what lay just below the surface of the green Scottish turf.
What’s that go to do with snow, you ask? Good question.
Almost all the 24 references to snow in the Bible use it as a reference point for comparison. For example, when Miriam got leprosy, the blight was “white as snow.” In David’s penitential psalm (51), he prays, “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 147:16 speaks of God giving snow like wool. Proverbs 25:13 suggests that a faithful messenger refreshes the one who sent him “as the cold of snow in the time of harvest.” Two of the three New Testament references refer to the same incident—the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain—when his clothing was “white as snow” (Tide could only dream of making your whites so white!). The other compares the hair of the Son of Man (Revelation 1:14) as white as snow.
But there’s yet another reference to snow, and it’s most intriguing. When the Lord confronts Job and seeks to impress upon him that He, the Lord, is God and Job isn’t, He asks the poor, befuddled man, “Have you entered into the treasures of the snow?” (Job 38:22). Treasures in the snow? I looked out over the fresh, clean snow this morning, and it was pretty. I did plenty of shoveling and blowing of the white stuff and, given the depth, it was sort of heavy (though thankfully not the wet heavy stuff we had a few weeks back!). And, blowing out of my snow-blower’s chute, some blew back in my face—pretty cold stuff! But it never occurred to me that I might be able to negotiate some of those piles in the back of a pick up, haul them down to USBank, and stash them is a few safety deposit boxes.
Treasures in the snow? I suppose if we give it some thought we might come up with a thing or two. For a few years we lived in Vermont, and not far from our town was the hometown of Wilson Bentley. He’s the guy who figured out how to photograph snowflakes on a black velvet background. What he captured on film is stunning! Have you seen the images of those frozen crystals? They look like they’re priceless—especially those taken in more recent times! Check some out, if you want: http://www.snowcrystals.com/photos/photos.html
Then there’s the much-touted fact that “no two snowflakes are exactly alike.” I’m sure that’s true, but you have to accept it on faith—who’s checked??
But we’re limited as to how far we go in this search with our snow-treasure detector, aren’t we? And that’s just the point. God asked Job a rhetorical question, knowing that Job would have to say, “Um, no. I’ve never entered into the treasures of the snow.” But the fact that God asked the question clearly indicates that He has! He knows where the treasure lies, what it’s comprised of, and just how valuable it is! If God has been there, where else has He been? If He knows that, what else does He know? And who am I, anyway, compared to this God?
Exactly. That’s the point.