Summary: If the altar was Noah's expression of his commitment to God, the rainbow is God's expression of his commitment to Noah and ultimately to me.
Genesis 9 - Part 1 - RAINBOWS AND EMPTY ROOMS
A couple of days ago, I saw a rainbow. It was just over there - a few houses away. If only they knew. There, like a mysterious portent of blessing, defying the mist of rain and piercing the imagination with it's multiplicity of colours, the heart with it's beauty, and I smiled, as often I do when I see a rainbow. "Look Mum, there's a rainbow. Isn't it beautiful?" - I've always felt that way about rainbows since I was little.
If the altar was Noah's expression of his commitment to God, the rainbow is God's expression of his commitment to Noah and ultimately to me. Thanks Lord, I'm still touched and inspired by your watercolours.
In Genesis 9:8-10 (NASB95) it says, "Then God told Noah and his sons, "I hereby confirm My covenant with you..." but He doesn't stop there. He says 3 more significant words full of hope and promise for me - "and your descendants," THAT'S ME! He includes me in the promise He made to Noah. Now that is cool!
He even includes the animals. "and with all the animals that were on the boat with you-the birds, the livestock, and all the wild animals-every living creature on earth."
Why did God worry about the animals? Because God promised Adam and Eve that they would rule over the earth and the animal kingdom. GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES!
The word "COVENANT" appears 8 times in a very short space in the next few verses. So it must be important.
WHAT IS A COVENANT? It's an agreement, a promise. God says, "Yes, I am confirming My covenant with you. Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth."
"Where do we go from here?" Noah would say, "TRUST IN THE PROMISES OF GOD." Look for the covenant promises. Make sure you have entered into a covenant relationship with Jesus, not based on my promises to God but on His promises to me (It's much more reliable that way).
"Then God said, "I am giving you a sign of My covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed MY RAINBOW IN THE CLOUDS. It is the SIGN OF MY COVENANT with you and with all the earth."
A RAINBOW IS A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE OF CHRIST. Jesus is called the light of the world. A rainbow has 3 primary colours, red, green and purple. RED SPEAKS OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST - His sacrifice on the cross for me. Genesis 8:21 says "The intent of man's heart is evil from his youth;" Jesus paid the price for my sin. "The blood of Christ", the Bible says, "cleanses from all sin." Now that's good to know. Isaiah 1:18 puts it this way "Come now, and let us reason together," says the Lord, "though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool."
GREEN SPEAKS OF NEW LIFE after the storm. Genesis 8:11 (NASB95) says, "The dove came to him (Noah) toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth." The olive leaf was a picture of new life after the storm. Jesus said "I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly" Whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
PURPLE IS THE COLOUR OF KINGS. When Jesus was being tried, they mocked Him and dressed Him in purple. He is called King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus knew what it was like to go through a storm. He is still my King of kings and my Lord of lords.
The Rainbow declares to me today and perhaps to you too, "If I have been through a storm, then God still has a future for me." In fact you can't have a rainbow, without having a storm or at least rain.
Where did I start all this. Oh yes, with a rainbow. Beautiful. Makes me smile. Just after the rain subsided - a rainbow in the sky from heaven touching earth. In Europe the rainbow is called "the bridge of the Holy Spirit" and as I sit with my computer on a card table in the middle of a mostly empty study (gave away my beautiful desk), the Holy Spirit is here right now.
"WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE, LORD?"
Like Noah of old, He says to me "It's time to trust in Me, as always". So I build an altar, - surrender my life afresh to Christ as an act of worship. And I offer up my worship to my Lord and Saviour who loves me with an indescribable love, intercede on behalf of my community with a fervency and expectation of Gods miraculous intervention into the circumstances of our everyday lives, renew my dependence on Him, believe in the power of a rainbow, and let the covenant relationship with my Lord wash over me with it's colours by trusting in His promises.