Journey to Jerusalem Day 5
First Sunday, February 21 Genesis 9:8-17
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
“A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky.” (Wikipedia)
That is like saying a perfectly grilled steak is cooked cow meat. True enough, but it misses the point.
Everyone loves rainbows. After a heavy rain with dark storm clouds, it is a relief, a joy to look in the sky and see one. But rainbows have deeper significance than these feelings. A rainbow is a message from God.
You remember the story. God’s creation had become corrupt and filled with violence. So, God decided to destroy the earth with a flood. Noah was the exception because Noah walked with God. (Genesis 6:9)
At God’s command, Noah build an ark and filled it with animals. When the ark was completed and loaded, torrential rains covered the earth. Everything was destroyed. Only Noah was left, and those who were there with him in the ark. (Genesis 7:23).
Once the flood was over and the waters receded, God said, “I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:11)
And God sealed the promise with a sign. “I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” (Genesis 9:13)
Since then, God has had ample reason to unleash Flood 2.0. Corruption and violence seem to be the norm, not the exception. But God has kept his covenant. He has not destroyed the earth.
Rainbows, therefore, are more than light reflecting through water droplets. They are evidence that, even in the storms of life, God’s promises can be trusted.
Thank you, God, that you speak to us in many ways, including rainbows.