“And God said,.. ‘I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” Genesis 9:12-16
“Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you… Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:7-11
It is hard to imagine the horror Noah experienced after he was shut into the ark with only his family and lots of animals, and the torrent of foretold judgment began. The shouts of ridicule would turn to agonizing screams, taunting to choking, then silence, all but the incessant pounding rain. The devastation occurring outside the ark would press its indelible mark on Noah’s psyche and senses. God meant it when he said he would judge the earth, and in grace he had warned and saved Noah through it. ‘Ark’ is derived from the Latin word arca, akin to the verb arcēre, meaning ‘to hold off or defend’; indeed, God had done just that.
After Noah disembarked he offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and God replied with a bow in the clouds. We can picture Noah’s rapturous upturned face in amazed wonder at this other-worldly phenomenon of color and beauty, a God-traced arc covering His own. The unseen God who had been faithful to bring him through would be faithful to this covenant promise.￼￼￼￼ (Genesis 6:11-9:1)
We can take God at His word. When the drumbeat of judgment sounds, God delivers through Jesus. When storms of sorrow rumble and disappointment rains down, God bears us up. When the enemy reviles and accuses, our Lord defends and strengthens us. When the devil splinters relationships, God can restore and heal. (Psalm 68:19; Romans 8:33-34)
“O Love, that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O Light, that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy, that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.” ~George Matheson (1842-1906)
Lord, help me trace rainbows through the rains You bring, joyfully remembering and living by Your sure promises. I exalt You for Your fairer mornings, and everlasting dominion. (Psalm 30:5)