“I remember a summer day that began bright and sunny, but muggy and uncomfortable. The weatherman predicted storms, but when one looked outside, it was hard to believe it would happen” recalled Jacquelyn Wagenmaker.
“By 3 in the afternoon things had changed drastically. The air was so humid you felt you would drown just walking through it. The sky in the West was turning ugly. Huge dark clouds were rolling in and soon the sun was totally obliterated. It was almost as dark as night, but it was late afternoon.”
“Suddenly the clouds burst and huge drops of rain began to fall. Lightning flashed through the heavens and the house seemed to vibrate with each crash of thunder. The rain was so heavy you couldn’t see the field across the road. Rivers of water ran down our driveway into the backyard. There was a loud crack and our power went off. No more electricity for a while.”
“We sat in darkness waiting for the storm to pass over. Little by little the rain began to let up, the clouds lightened and the sun came out, its rays glistening in the light rain that still fell.”
“Look! Over the barn. Do you see it?”
“Sure enough, there it was…a rainbow. We went outside, standing in the drizzle to see it better. As we watched the colors became brighter and brighter. It was beautiful. Then just as we thought it couldn’t get any better, a second rainbow appeared over the first gradually darkening in color like the first. A sense of well-being flooded over me. Everything was going to be alright now. We had God’s promise and it was good.”
No doubt, most of you have an experience stored in your memories like Jacquelyn’s. My most memorable occurred on the big island of Hawaii, as we toured it with good friends Ted and Vicki Brewer. We pulled over to the side of the road as a brilliant rainbow appeared stretching across the sky. We watched in awe, as we snapped pictures of each other. It was a breath-taking sight to behold in one of God’s most beautiful places on earth.
The rainbow reminds us of God’s promise to Noah when he stepped out of the ark following the flood.
12And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud;
15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.” (Gen. 9:12-17).
God’s promise to Noah, and to all succeeding generations, reminds us of many important facts.
#1 The rainbow reminds me there is a God.
In the beginning, He created the heavens and earth (Gen. 1:1). He made every living thing on the earth. He formed mankind in his image. And He set the rainbow in the clouds. There is a God.
#2 The rainbow reminds me of the power of hope.
Throughout the succeeding centuries, rainbows have become universal symbols in many countries and cultures of hope. I recently read that since the pandemic began that in many European countries, children have been displaying rainbows from the windows, signifying a brighter day coming.
“Hope springs eternal in the human breast,” penned the British poet Alexander Pope. This is especially so when one believes in the “God of all hope” (Rom. 15:13). When the raging storms of life assault us mentally, emotionally, physically and even spiritually, Christians have a hope to hold on to. Anchored in Jesus Christ. And firmly fixed on that heavenly shore.
#3 The colors of the rainbow remind us of Jesus and our salvation through Him.
Consider these possible interpretations of the rainbow.
- Purple reminds us of the royal of the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 6:15).
- Red reminds us of His blood shed for the remission of our sins (Rev. 1:5: Eph. 1:7)
- Green speaks of the new life that we have in Him (Jn. 1:3-4).
- Blue points to the promise of our Heavenly Home above the bright blue (Jn. 3:13: Rev. 21:1-3).
- Orange is a subtle reminder of warning (Matt 16:2-4). While God promises not to destroy the world with a flood ever again, He will one day bring time and this world to an end when Christ comes again (2 Pet. 3:9-13). And we will stand before Him in judgment (2 Cor. 5:10)
#4 The rainbow reminds us of God’s Grace.
His promises are sure. And steadfast. God cannot lie. Heb. 6:9-20; 11:23). God’s love, mercy, and grace patiently provide for us time and opportunity to know Him. His will. And His Word. And we can be assured that our faith is not in vain. That our hope is not hollow. That our lives are not futile. That our failures are not fatal. And that our death is not final.
God provides help and hope in a time of need. He’s our rock and refuge when the storm clouds come. And restoration and redemption can be received and realized when we trust in God and come to Christ.
While some have sought to highjack the rainbow for their own nefarious purposes, I refuse to be deterred or distracted from God’s original, beautiful and divine symbol of hope.
Remember the rainbow.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman