“God continued, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and everything living around you and everyone living after you. I’m putting my rainbow in the clouds, a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth. From now on, when I form a cloud over the Earth and the rainbow appears in the cloud, I’ll remember my covenant between me and you and everything living, that never again will floodwaters destroy all life. When the rainbow appears in the cloud, I’ll see it and remember the eternal covenant between God and everything living, every last living creature on Earth.’”
(Genesis 9:12-16, The Message)
In the Old Testament no less than the New Testament, God’s anger is always answered by God’s grace (I think Joyce Meyer’s 2013 book, God is Not Mad at You can be perceived as half-true. God is mad at you and your sins but He is ready to forgive you if you would only repent of your sins and come to Him. Now, I also think Joyce’s book is great for repented-sinners and for those who “haven’t truly received God’s love because they’re afraid of His anger and disapproval.” Thus, if you’re with and in Christ, God is far from mad at you, He calls you His sons and daughters. This is grace).
The worldwide destruction of the Flood was followed immediately by the promise of hope, His grace. Never again, God promised, would He sent the kind of flood that Noah and his family had just experienced through. And the sign of that promise was a bow in the sky – God-size bow – a rainbow.
It is worth noticing that the bow is aimed to shoot its arrows up toward heaven, not down toward earth. The bow is not a threat against humankind that says, “The arrows of God’s anger are going to rain down on you again!” No! This bow is aimed to shoot – metaphorically – at the heart of God. It is as if God is saying, “I cross my heart, I promise.” In this covenant, God puts Himself on the hook.
There are some two-sided covenants in the Bible, in which God’s people agree to hold up their end of the bargain. This covenant is ALL God. But there is another covenant – New Covenant – that is more important than this one… Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for you and you don’t have to do anything, just receive by grace through faith. This is ALL Christ. So when you look at the rainbow(s) today or tomorrow, remember God’s grace, remember the New Covenant.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.