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 grants peace within your borders;
he fills you with the finest of wheat.
15 He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down hail 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 ordinances to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his ordinances.
Praise the Lord!
This psalm is filled with such rich imagery. Frigid words like snow, frost, and hail are compared to images of warming up after dinner–wool, ashes, and crumbs. After this juxtaposition we switch to the power of God’s word to melt away the cold. Though the author describes “his cold,” he uses imagery of warmth, and then moves to a springtime image of blowing wind and flowing water. This paradox is perfect for us as we journey toward both the cold dark night of the crucifixion, and then the warmth of sunrise on Easter morning.
Message provided by the Miller Summer Youth Institute.