Summary: AFter weathering the storms of life, God’s rainbow is a reminder to us of the hope we have in Jesus Christ.
Sermon: The End of the Rainbow!
Text: Genesis 9:8-17
I remember a summer day that began bright and sunny, but muggy and uncomfortable. The weatherman predicted storms, but when one looked outside, it was hard to believe it would happen. By 3 in the afternoon things had changed drastically. The air was so humid you felt you would drown just walking through it. The sky in the West was turning ugly. Huge dark clouds were rolling in and soon the sun was totally obliterated. It was almost as dark as night, but it was late afternoon. Suddenly the clouds burst and huge drops of rain began to fall. Lightening flashed through the heavens and the house seemed to vibrate with each crash of thunder. The rain was so heavy you couldn’t see the field across the road. Rivers of water ran down our driveway into the backyard. There was a loud crack and our power went off. No more electricity for awhile. We sat in darkness waiting for the storm to pass over. Little by little the rain began to let up, the clouds lightened and the sun came out, it’s rays glistening in the light rain that still fell. “Look! Over the barn. Do you see it?” Sure enough, there it was…a rainbow. We went outside, standing in the drizzle to see it better. As we watched the colors became brighter and brighter. It was beautiful. Then just as we thought it couldn’t get any better, a second rainbow appeared over the first gradually darkening in color like the first. A sense of well being flooded over me. Everything was going to be alright now. We had God’s promise and it was good.
You probably have a similar story somewhere in your memories. To this day I look for a rainbow whenever it is raining and the sun is shining. There is a sense of comfort just in seeing it. There is it, that beautiful arch across the sky. It seems to have no beginning, no end. It just is. I know for a fact that if you try to go find the end of the rainbow, no matter how far you travel, you will have to keep going. The end will never appear.
The rainbow will forever be a sign of hope. We see them everywhere and always in conjunction with a promise. That’s what the rainbow is, a promise, a reminder between God and man forever!
If anyone needed a promise or two, it was Noah! Can you imagine being told by God to build an ark, gather you family and two of every kind of living creature, get in and close the doors and wait. Then it starts to rain and it keeps it up for 40 days and 40 nights. That would be like if it started to rain today and didn’t stop until April 15. You think tax day is bad!! That’s a long time to never see the sun shine. But that’s exactly what Noah endured. He obeyed God’s commands. He built the ark, he gathered his family and all the creatures and he floated around aimlessly over the waters as they rose high above the earth. You have to wonder if he ever gave it a thought that he might die on this boat.
God is a god of promises. We know that because we have the Bible to tell us that. Noah learned that by living it. That rain did stop and the sun did reappear and the water subsided so that eventually the doors of the ark could be opened and Noah, his family, and all the creatures could step out on solid ground. If that were the end of the story, man would forever live in fear that God would do this again to get rid of all the evil in the world. Considering the state our world is in today, this would be a good time for a flood don’t you think? But that’s not what will happen. I am not a predictor of the future. I am a reader of the Word of God and in it I find this promise:
“I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you – the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you – every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.
This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come; I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”