Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lessons from the Rainbow


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.
Genesis 9:16

I know very few people who can't stop and admire the beauty of a rainbow in the sky. Knowing the things that I now know about optics, prisms, light rays, and angles of refraction still does not take away the wonder of it. I think that is because deep inside human beings is something of the memory of this promise of God. Noah was given the rainbow as a covenantal reminder from God that the epic destruction of humanity by flood would not come to the earth again.

And I am reminded that the promises of God are beautiful. Every rainbow shows this. Writing this reflection with a Canadian cold front fast approaching and sub-zero temperatures not far behind still does not take away the sense of joyous splendor I feel when I think of a warm spring shower followed by a shining rainbow. As surely as the rainbow follows the storm, God keeps His promises to us in beauty and in grace.

I think it is sad that the rainbow has been hijacked by both the New Age movements and the homosexual rights movements.From my point of view, it is a bit like Muslims deciding to adopt a cross as their symbol. But even that current meaninglessness aside, I know that God is a keeper of promises. And the rainbow is the reminder of that truth.

The rainbow is a covenantal sign given by God for all humanity. In fact, interestingly, the text says the covenant is with every living creature, making this the only biblical covenant that I am aware of that is with the all the living things on planet earth. This is God's commitment to seeing to the planet, which is why I really don't buy into environmental alarmism. We should not trash the place, but I seriously doubt that we will turn the planet to cinders. God will one day (see 2 Peter 3:11-13 on that truth). But until then, God has our planet in good hands.

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