I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
One drizzly spring morning, I was out walking when the sun burst through the clouds and a rainbow appeared in front of me. It was so close and so dramatic that I almost felt I could touch it. How startling the rainbow must have been to Noah, and how amazing the promise of God it represented!
In the story of Noah and the flood we see the devastating consequences of human evil and God’s wrath against it. God hates sin and will punish it. But we also see God’s gracious deliverance of Noah’s family and the animals in the ark. We see God’s faithfulness to his promise to deliver his people.
After the flood, it didn’t take long for wickedness to spread again. How did Noah keep trusting God’s promise? And, indeed, how do we? God knows that our frail hearts need a sign, a reminder of his promise. God’s sign to all is the rainbow. And what is the fulfillment of the promise, God’s ultimate delivery? The sign for that is a star over a baby born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:9).
When you next see a rainbow or a bright star, let them flood you with joy and gratitude, reminding you of God’s promise and fulfillment of delivery, God’s promise of life to the full (John 10:10).
O God, creator of the heavens and the earth, you give us the rainbow to remind and comfort us with your love and promised presence. Help us to live fully in sharing your love with the world. Amen.
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