“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: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.'” (Genesis 9:12-13, ESV)
In this week’s Old Testament reading from Genesis we learn of God’s covenant with Noah and his family. This covenant followed the great flood which wiped out all life on earth except for the eight men and women and all the animals on the Ark. We do not know how Noah and family felt about what had happened although they must have had a greater appreciation for the serious nature of sin. They knew now how much the Lord hated it. They had experienced the awesome power of His judgment that went to such great lengths to eradicate it. This is something we in the modern world should heed. God is indeed serious about punishing sin. We should be also. Sin is not something that should be made light of, denied or ignored.
But the rainbow shows us God’s mercy and grace. Once the flood had receded, life had to begin anew. God knew that mankind would be wondering if He would ever destroy the world. If so, how could they live without great fear? How could they go on or why? Therefore the Lord made a covenant. He pledged to Noah and to all mankind and all other living creatures that He would never again destroy the world by flood. His pledge is the rainbow that we see after a rain shower. Now, every time we see a rainbow, we should rejoice as we remember God’s trustworthiness and love. The rainbow is a sign of God’s faithfulness to His covenant. It reminds us that He always keeps His promises even when we do not. Therefore we can trust Him to carry us through all the storms of life and lead us into eternal life.