Catching the rainbow

JJK_6006“I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you–the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you–every living creature on earth.  I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”  So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”  – Genesis 9:9-17 (NIV)

God promises to never again bring such a flood to earth. As tangible evidence God points to the rainbow, a natural sign which must have been a familiar sight after rains and storms. There are several interesting physical observations about rainbows: 1) rainbows do not always occur after a rain or flood 2) rainbows are not visible from all perspectives and for all observers, even for the same storm; 3) most rainbows are fleeting and don’t last more than a brief time; 4) many rainbows are exceedingly beautiful; 5) rainbows do not occur unless it has rained or there has been some sort of disturbance to put moisture in the atmosphere. From these physical attributes of rainbows I glean the following insights about the covenant with God that they represent: 1) There may be storms in our lives after which we do not see a rainbow; 2) Even when evidence of God’s covenant is present we may not be in the right place (spiritually) to see it; 3) We should not expect, or need, an ever present rainbow as evidence of God’s covenant with us; 4) God’s covenant with us is magical and beautiful and we should stop to marvel often; 5) We should not expect a life without storms, unless we are content to have no rainbows.

Prayer: God thank you for the reconciliation that you have made with us through the rainbow and your son Jesus Christ.  May we always be looking for rainbows…

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1 Response to Catching the rainbow

  1. andrew says:

    I love the broader context and representation of the rainbow here in Genesis as reminder of the covenant to come. It foreshadows the coming of the Messiah, Jesus and the covenant that came through His Death on the cross. We see this representation unfold more in Ezekiel 1:28, Revelation 4:3 and 10:1. Rainbows become more synonymous with presence of the Glory of God!


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