From elementary science, we all know how a rainbow is formed. When sunlight passes through raindrops, the light bends, or refracts, as it enters the droplet, and then reflects off the inside of the raindrop. This happens because the water is denser than the air that surrounds it. As it exits the droplet, the light separates into wavelengths.
Visible light is made up of various wavelengths, and each wavelength appears as a different color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Red light, for example, bends at a different angle than violet light.
This is why a person on the ground sees each color at a different location and why rainbows look like a bow or an arc. Okay, then. Got it?
Following Noah’s praise worship of thanksgiving to God, the first rainbow is seen by Noah who has now experienced rain for the first time on earth (as many theologians believe), followed by the sun that dried up the drenched land. The rainbow was created by God as His visual sign of a promise to those saved by the floodwaters. This beautiful arc of colors for the people of The Ark (see what I did there) would remind them that God would never destroy the earth with floodwaters again. What God promises, He delivers.
God, Creator of all, knew what would happen when the sun followed right behind the rain. I am imagining God waiting in the heavens thinking, “Watch this, Noah!” while a beautiful rainbow formed. Maybe that’s just me. The rainbow was also a reminder of their salvation by God!
Genesis 9, The Message
1-4 God blessed Noah and his sons: He said, “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill the Earth! Every living creature—birds, animals, fish—will fall under your spell and be afraid of you. You’re responsible for them. All living creatures are yours for food; just as I gave you the plants, now I give you everything else. Except for meat with its lifeblood still in it—don’t eat that.
5 “But your own lifeblood I will avenge; I will avenge it against both animals and other humans.
6-7 Whoever sheds human blood,
by humans let his blood be shed,
Because God made humans in his image
reflecting God’s very nature.
You’re here to bear fruit, reproduce,
lavish life on the Earth, live bountifully!”
8-11 Then God spoke to Noah and his sons: “I’m setting up my covenant with you including your children who will come after you, along with everything alive around you—birds, farm animals, wild animals—that came out of the ship with you. I’m setting up my covenant with you that never again will everything living be destroyed by floodwaters; no, never again will a flood destroy the Earth.”
12-16 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.”
17 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I’ve set up between me and everything living on the Earth.”
18-19 The sons of Noah who came out of the ship were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah; from these three the whole Earth was populated.
20-23 Noah, a farmer, was the first to plant a vineyard. He drank from its wine, got drunk and passed out, naked in his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and told his two brothers who were outside the tent. Shem and Japheth took a cloak, held it between them from their shoulders, walked backward and covered their father’s nakedness, keeping their faces turned away so they did not see their father’s exposed body.
24-27 When Noah woke up with his hangover, he learned what his youngest son had done. He said,
Cursed be Canaan! A slave of slaves,
a slave to his brothers!
Blessed be God, the God of Shem,
but Canaan shall be his slave.
God prosper Japheth,
living spaciously in the tents of Shem.
But Canaan shall be his slave.
28-29 Noah lived another 350 years following the flood. He lived a total of 950 years. And he died.
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESOND?
God’s promises are true. He still reminds us He is with us. I mentioned church camp yesterday. I can’t wait to tell you of another incident that happened while corralling elementary campers in the pouring rain. One little boy was a challenge to the staff all week long because of his behavior. By mid-week, we finally won him and he calmed down, with God’s help and wisdom.
We presented a musical by the campers on the last night that year entitled Bullfrogs and Butterflies. We sang lively songs that taught us about God’s creation and His salvation for mankind. It had been pouring rain all day long on this day. We gathered our muddy kids and did the program in the worship shelter with a good roof but only walls on one side. Parents came. The music and message presented clearly. After the program was over, our boy who challenged us all week was so touched by it all, he gave his life to Jesus that night.
But that’s not all! The rain ended when the service ended, making it a bit easier for campers to pack up and go home with their parents. We were walking up the hill from the chapel to see a beautiful rainbow arc over the campground. Our boy with challenging behavior but now saved by Jesus was the first to see it and shouted, “LOOK WHAT GOD DID FOR US!” “HE DOES KEEP HIS PROMISE!” Tears of joy came to my eyes as I watched what God did for this little man. (And for all of us!)
Dear Friends, God is still doing it for us! Rain will fall followed by the sun. In the wake of it all, creation grows greener and stronger. In our lives, troubles will come followed by the Son who causes us to grow. May the rainbow in the skies displayed in vibrant beauty after the rain remind us of God’s goodness to us, his provisions for us, and His Presence with us, believing that Jesus, His Son saved us.
There is no rainbow with the rain. There is no real life without the Son.
The Cleansing, followed by the Covenant Promise, was monumental in the Story of God. God always keeps His Promise to save us. His Son, Jesus is the Promise of life everlasting for those who believe.
Believe and be saved.
Thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do in my life to teach me, show me the way to go, maturing me as you mold and shape me to serve you. You’re not finished with me yet. I love how you love us. I love you back with all my heart, mind and soul. Thank you for all your promises to us. I believe.
In Jesus Name, Amen
And I’m singing…From Bullfrogs and Butterflies…
Rainbow, rainbow bright with color
Shines a promise through the sky
Spreading sunshine all around us
No more darkness, no more night…