The Real Meaning Behind the RAINBOW

As soon as one of the young guys I work with came in this morning, he asked me if I had seen the rainbow outside and commented on how big, far-reaching and beautiful it was! I went outside and saw it, too. When I returned, I asked him if he knew what it meant or really stood for. He looked a little unsure and half-heartedly said something about the old wives’ tale of the pot of gold. That is not to make fun of him. That is a very real response from what many people today of all ages would say who have little or no biblical knowledge, for one reason or another.
I kindly told him that it was a sign of God’s covenant with Noah. The Bible says that the times and the people were so bad then that “every intention of the thoughts of (men’s) hearts was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). But Noah was the only one considered blameless in God’s eyes. Imagine things being so terrible that the powerful and just, yet all-loving and merciful God used the words “every”, “only” and “continually” when speaking of the evil in our hearts. That’s why God wiped out all flesh from the face of the earth except for Noah, his wife, their sons and their wives, along with a male and female of every animal to repopulate the earth. That last act alone is incredibly merciful because human nature doesn’t change without Jesus’ blood atonement, and that means it is very likely similar things and results would occur again at some point.
But before we wrongly conclude that it must not ever have been that bad since then, God’s Word says two things. First, the book of Ecclesiastes writes “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” This means that whatever has been done before will be done again. Second, “For all men have sinned and fallen short of the glory (perfection) of God” and “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” These are from both the Old and New Testaments.
Today, even sinners (90% or more of the global population) recognize the state of the world, especially, but surely not only, in the United States. Killing of babies (abortion, murder approved of and funded by the gov’t and our taxpayer dollars), random killing sprees, drive-by shootings, suicide bombings, drug and alcohol addiction, immoral heterosexual intercourse, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender activity (sex and lobbying), corrupt politicians and judges, vulgar and immoral television/radio/CDs/movies, satanic worship, rampant divorce, violence of all kinds (including entertainment and sports), rape, sodomy, incest, kidnappings, sex trafficking, prejudice/ racism, gambling, stealing, cheating, out of control debt (individually and governmentally), terrorism, dictatorships, oppression… the list goes on!!! If you don’t think our world today is equal to or worse than in Noah’s time, you are mistaken.
The Lord’s covenant promise to Noah was this (Genesis chapter 9, verses 12-17), “And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 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.’ God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.’” If this is not the very picture of mercy and faithfulness, then one cannot be painted. The rainbow, therefore, is a recurring reminder of God’s mercy toward sinful man.
The signs and the judgments- yes, judgments- we are seeing and experiencing today in greater frequency and intensity are not due to “climate change.” The floods, droughts, fires, landslides, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, avalanches, famines and pestilences (fatal epidemic diseases; overwhelming diseases that affect entire communities) are, in part, God’s wrath for far-reaching and rampant sin in the world, and part trumpet-blasting wake-up calls for all of humanity to realize the sin in their lives (everyone on the planet who is still dead in his or her trespasses). It is an alarm for them to make a sincere and conscious plea to the God of Heaven and earth to forgive their sins. He wants to do it. Remember, it is He who sounded the warnings. Further, in so doing, they will, in turn, make a covenant with the Lord. That covenant or promise to Him is to REPENT (have a purposeful and committed change of mind and heart) from their ways in order to submit to, to follow and to live by HIS ways. God will extend His grace and offer His free gift of forgiveness and eternal life to those who believe in Jesus as Lord in their hearts and confess Him as Savior with their mouths. That is mercy!


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