Looking for Rainbows

We are far enough into the month of January that those New Year’s Resolutions you made several weeks ago have mostly been left behind or are limping along on life support. A New Year’s Resolution is like a “hope-so” promise. We hope we can keep the promise we made to ourselves and to others. But often we aren’t sure!

God, on the other hand, doesn’t make “hope-so” promises. His promises are promises kept! In fact, Paul tells us in Romans that faith is standing on the unshakable promises of God. Concerning Abraham, Paul says: “He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises” Romans 4:21 (NLT).”

One of the early promises of God came in the form of a sign in the sky. To Noah God said this in Genesis 9:14–16: When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, 15 and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. 16 When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.”

In recent years, rainbows have been associated with many different things – everything from sugar cereal to unicorns and fantasy to political agendas. Yet originally this sign – made up of light that refracts through moisture in the atmosphere – was a sign of God’s faithfulness, His grace, and His presence.

God’s faithfulness is seen in the rainbow because God gave His solemn word that He would no longer destroy the earth by floodwaters. God’s grace is echoed in the rainbow as we consider Peter’s statement concerning God’s gift to us of the “manifold grace of God.” The word manifold there in 1 Peter 4:10 means “various, multi-colored, variegated.”  It is a grace that equips us for every circumstance. Finally, the rainbow is a sign of God’s presence.

Interestingly, rainbows appear during storms. Three times in Scripture we find reference to the rainbow. One is there in Genesis 9 where the rainbow appears to Noah after the storm. In Ezekiel 1, the rainbow appears in the midst of a fierce storm (1:4) that the prophet Ezekiel saw in a vision. In that storm was the vision of the glory of God portrayed in a bizarre conglomerate of faces and wheels. During the vision, Ezekiel catches a glimpse of a rainbow surrounding the glory of God.

Finally, we see one more rainbow surrounding the throne of God in Revelation 4:3. The Apostle John saw this vision of an emerald rainbow just before the storm of God’s judgment broke out on sinful mankind. All three of these appearances speak of God’s faithfulness, His grace, and His continual presence.

The year 2023 will undoubtedly bring storms into our lives as each year regularly does. When those storms come, look for the rainbow. You may see if before the storm comes – an assurance that God will never leave you or desert you. Hold on to His presence when the storm hits. Or you may see the rainbow even as you find yourself in the middle of the storm. Remember that God’s multi-colored grace will be sufficient to see you through. Some may not see the rainbow of God’s faithfulness until after the storm has passed, but you will know that God brought you faithfully through the situation. God’s rainbow will always be there – His faithfulness, His grace, His presence. Promises kept! David said of God, “All the Lord’s promises prove true” (Ps. 18:30, NLT). 

Why not in this new year get a better handle on understanding the Old Testament. My book, Clearing the Fog, will be very helpful in that pursuit. Order it here: https://secure.mybookorders.com/mbo_index.php?Orderpage=4041

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