Is that snow?
At first glance I thought– snow?? But no, it was a mess of icy hail we walked through when leaving church on Sunday morning. The hailstorm that dropped from the sky left a blanket of white icy beads all over the ground, coating everything. I’ve never seen anything like it before.
The hail storm reminded of the plague that fell on the Egyptians during Moses’ day, when the Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave. I can imagine getting pelted and stung and seeing piles of hail stones everywhere; of course– more severe than what fell from the sky on Sunday. But I was curious about other mentions of hail in the Bible, so I opened a concordance, and looked up a few references. Here’s what I found– first, from Psalms:
He casts out His hail like morsels; who can stand before His cold? Psalm 147: 17
Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. he bowed the heavens also, and came down with darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark water and thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness of Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire. The Lord thundered from heaven, And the Most High God uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. Psalm 18: 7-14
Have you entered the treasury of snow, or have you seen the treasury of hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war? Job 38:22-23
Next, in Isaiah:
Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, like a flood of mighty waters overflowing, who will bring them down to the earth with His hand. Isaiah 28:2
and then a few verses later:
And I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet; The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place. Is. 28:17
I struck you with blight and mildew and hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you did not turn to Me, says the Lord. Haggai 2:17
Finally, in Revelation:
And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great. Revelation 16:21
Do you know how much a “talent” weighs? I had to look it up. It’s a whopping 75 pounds. That’s quite a chunk of icy rock.
Wow. Fear strikes my heart as I read the above verses. In a commentary I learn that hail is associated with “divine vengeance”. God used hail in an attempt to soften Pharaoh’s heart, and again in Haggai to turn hearts toward him. In Isaiah, the presence of hail is associated with his justice, and will “sweep away a refuge of lies”, and in Revelation, with judgment. Who could stand before this? Who could stand?
Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? Psalm 24;3
It is you alone who are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? Psalm 76:7
If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? Psalm 130:3
Indeed, who could stand? No one could. None, there is not one righteous. But God loved us, from the beginning, and made a way for us. He himself became sin for us, so we could stand before Him. Love died for us and longs for us, His eyes roam the earth and He longs to gather us in. He keeps no record of sins, as far as the east is from the west, and His great love spans this breadth of distance. That’s Love. He defines the word, Love, gives it meaning and substance and teaches us what it means.
God, thank for your love.
79. the hail caused no damage
80. boys playing with their legos
81. a day spent with my girl– going to her extracurricular classes, eating lunch, taking her shopping
82. tickling the boys
83. April fool’s jokes orchestrated by the kids: salt on toothbrushes, paper wadded in shoes, being sprayed with water, clocks moved ahead an hour, and meatloaf “cupcakes” with potato “frosting”
84. Sunday afternoon nap
85. a hot cup of coffee, just strong enough, at the right moment
86. watching a new, very well done movie version of Jane Eyre, and loving it and wishing to see it again; an authentic, clean, true to its source kind of movie
87. a relaxing spring break
88. homemade savory potato-cheese biscuits, and tasting them warm and fresh right from the oven…baked all by herself
89. homemade, warm chocolate chip cookies
90. day trip to the state capitol
91. hosting a book club for 3 seven-year old boys
92. teens singing worship and praise songs
93. spending a day with a friend, talking, eating, boys playing, girls cooking and creating
94. Chinese plum sauce (a new ingredient to investigate) and Chinese tea; Chinese-style potatoes fried with special black vinegar (all cooked by– can you guess– my Chinese friend!)
95. thunderstorms; yes, I really do like them
96. realizing there is a whole group of people out there who really love Jesus and want to know him
97. To ponder this,
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14: 27
…What he leaves us and gives us is peace, a peace that can’t be found in this world through any other means, no other person, philosophy, religion, creed, book, or by any other way… And he gives it to us. Leaves it. With us. Here. He says it, he promises it.
98. To ponder this,
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9
…Beauties unimaginable… I try to think of all the wonderful things my human brain can conjure up– no more wars, kids with enough food and not alone, cancer and illness and pain wiped away forever… broken hearts all bound up and healed…and His plans are beyond these, what I can dream up. He says my mind can’t even imagine what He’s got in store. Amazing. Some things are probably only to behold in heaven, but some of it I can taste right here, right now, on earth– as a glimpse of what is to be, what is to come.
99. To ponder this,
“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139: 17-18
…This blows me away. That the God of the universe thinks this much about me, and you, and all of us– it is too much for my mind to behold and comprehend– but I take it and hold it and lean into it and believe it and I resolve with myself to not forget.
Joining with Ann and many others, offering thanks: