C.H. Spurgeon

“He gives snow like wool: He scatters the hoarfrost like ashes. He casts forth His ice like morsels: who can stand before His cold? He sends out His word, and melts them: He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.” Psalm 147:16-18

It is not written, “the laws of nature produce snow,” but “HE giveth snow,” as if every flake came directly from the palm of His hand, wherein it had been hidden as in a treasury. We are not told that certain providential regulations form moisture into hoarfrost; no, but as Moses took ashes and scattered them upon Egypt, so “HE scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.” It is not said that the Eternal has set the world going, and by the operation of its machinery ice is produced. Oh no, but every single granule of ice descending in the hail is from God; HE casteth forth His ice like morsels”

Even as the slinger distinctly sends the stone out of his own sling, so the path of every hailstone is marked by the Divine wisdom, and it derives its impetus from the Divine power. The ice is called, you observe, his ice; and then in the next sentence we read of his cold. If I can read your thoughts, you feel with me, that these words make nature strangely magnificent. When we can look upon every hailstone as God’s hail, and upon every floating fragment of ice as his ice, how precious the watery diamonds become! When we feel the cold nipping our limbs and penetrating through every garment, it somewhat consoles us, and makes us willing to endure its hardness, when we remember that it is his cold. When the thaw comes, see how the certain text speaks supposed of it; — independent “He sendeth out His word.” He does not leave it to certain supposed independent forces of nature, but like a king, “He sendeth out His Word and melteth them: he causeth HIS wind to blow.” He has a special property in every wind; whether it comes from the north to freeze, or from the south to melt, it is his wind. Behold, my brethren, how in God’s temple EVERYTHING speaketh of his glory.

It has been very properly observed that the old Puritans saw God in everything, and cared, perhaps, too little about natural laws. If it rained they said, “The Lord unstops the bottles of heaven;” if it did not rain, they said, “He restrains the clouds that they refresh not the earth with showers.” They were accustomed to pray about everything, and see God’s hand distinctly and directly in every operation; but now one effect of our increased wisdom is the discovery that God is farther away than our forefathers thought. A great iron wall of material forces is set up by certain philosophers between us and the great all-working Jehovah. We hear little about Him, but very much of the laws of nature: we take the thermometer and say, “Oh, the temperature fell so many degrees, and it was natural that the mist should become snow, or that instead of dew there should be hoarfrost.” We talk now-a-days as if we were living in a world of machinery — as if the Lord had gone away and left the wheels of nature to go on working till the weights run down, or the great pendulum of time shall stop; but I hope every Christian heart revolts from such a view of the world as this.

I had sooner be a child again, and be near to God, than be a philosopher, and with my philosophy only put God farther off. It seems to me, I say again, to make the world so magnificent, to light it up with such a lustre and such a splendour, to think that God is in it, and that it is His ice, and His snow, and His wind, and His cold, and that EVERYTHING IS HIS, since He is the Head of the House and Father of the Family. With such views I feel, as far as I can be in this world, at home like a child in His own father’s house; and the prayer “Our Father, which art in heaven” seems to be a fitting and proper prayer for a denizen of a world where God is present still.

The second thought upon nature was the ease with which the Lord worked. There was no noise, no stir. Transfer that to the work of grace. How easy it is for God to send law-work into the soul. Yes, in every case it is easy. Yon stubborn sinner, you cannot touch him dead — mere providence has failed to awaken him. He is dead — altogether dead in trespasses and sins. But if the Lord sends his mighty word, if the glorious Lord does but bid the wind of his Spirit blow – there is no difficulty. Difficulty is not a word to be found in the dictionary of heaven. Nothing can be impossible with God. The swearing reprobate, whose mouth is blackened with profanity, whose heart is a very hell, and his life like the reeking flames of the bottomless pit — such a man, if the Lord doth but look upon him and make bare his arm of irresistible grace, shall yet praise God, and bless his name, and live to his honour.

Do not limit the Holy One of Israel. Persecuting Saul became loving Paul, and why should not that person be saved for whom you have been praying until now, but of whose case you almost despair? Your husband may have many points which make his case desperate, but there are no desperate cases in Heaven’s pharmacy. Your child may have offended both against heaven and against you, but God can save the most hardened. Your friend’s character is a perfect wreck, and his soul is in as much jeopardy as yon poor mariner clinging to the mast which is borne upon the boiling surge; but as God can still the raging of the sea, so can he stay the fury of the wicked heart, and he can yet deliver the soul from death.
Only cry unto Him. Hope on, hope ever, and you shall be surprised to find how easily God can conquer sin. Why, any instrument may be blessed, any humble preacher may be the means of your friend’s conversion, and whereas you have taken your friend to listen to this eminent man and to the other noted preacher, and all in vain, do not despair, your covenant God may have ordained to glorify himself by means as yet unknown to you.

He may convert your friend as He converted Simon Peter by the crowing of a cock, or speak to him as He did to Jonah by a worm. With the preacher is the general rule of Divine operation, but the King of grace can work without His servants if so it pleaseth Him. A sudden thought may strike your friend, and that shall suffice to humble pride and convince of sin. Ay, and that which seems as if it would drag him down to hell, may be made by God’s grace the means of drawing him towards heaven when Omnipotence doth but put forth its energy.

Poor sinner, I cannot leave this point without a word to you. Perhaps the Master has sent the frost to you, and you think it will never end. Let me encourage you to hope, and yet more to pray for gracious visitations.

It is so easy for God to deliver you, so very simple a thing. “I have blotted out like a cloud thine iniquities.” How easily God blows away a cloud! I stood the other evening looking up at a black cloud which was covering all the heavens, and I thought it would surely rain; I did but take a turn in the garden, and when I came back the sky was all blue — the wind had driven all the cloud away. So may it be with your soul. It is an easy thing for the Lord to put away sin from repenting sinners. All difficulty was removed by Jesus on the tree — if you believe in him you will find that the Saviour has put your sins away by his death upon the cross.

There are no difficulties left now in the salvation of sinners as far as God is concerned. If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. If thou canst, poor sinner, at thy worst, trust Christ Jesus and do him the honour to believe that he can save the blackest sinner out of hell, thou shalt be saved. There is no if or but in it. If thou believest that Jesus is the Christ, thou art born of God, and if thou dost trust thyself to him thou shalt never perish, nor shall any pluck thee out of his hand. Marvellous is the ease by which the once far-off soul is brought nigh by the precious blood.

Do you remember that hour when first you saw the Lord? Oh blessed hour! It makes the water stand in our eyes to think of it. We saw One bleeding on a tree. He turned his gracious eyes upon us, and said to ns, “Look!” and when we heard him say, “I freely all forgive,” the burden fell off our back and rolled into the sepulchre: we gave three great leaps for joy, and went on singing —

“Blest cross, blest sepulchre — blessed rather be
The Man who there did shed his blood for me.”

That day saw a grand illumination in the Town of Mansoul: all the flags were out, music abounded, and every church steeple rocked as the bells were made to ring. Every inhabitant was dressed in his best, while Prince Immanuel rode through our streets, which were strewed with the roses of our love, and the lilies of our consecration. What a feast of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined! Angels that day dwelt within our spirits; nay, better, the King himself was there. We had come unto the mount of God, unto the blood of sprinkling, and to the banqueting house of Jesus’ love.

Oh, happy day! Miriam’s joy at the Red Sea, when she led forth the damsels, exclaiming, “Sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously!” was all outdone in our case. Our strain was more jubilant, our notes more full of joy, and our hearts more exulting when we sang, “He is my God, and I will extol him; he is my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Praise ye the Lord, my brethren, and my sisters, as ye recollect that “He sent his word, and melted all our fears: he caused his wind to blow, and made the waters of your joy flow, and our soul was saved in him.”