8 Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons who were with him. He said, 9 “I am now making my covenant with you and with all your children who will be born after you. 10 I am making it also with every living creature that was with you in the ark. I am making my covenant with the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals. I am making it with all the creatures that came out of the ark with you. In fact, I am making it with every living thing on earth. 11 Here is my covenant I am making with you. The waters of a flood will never again destroy all life. A flood will never again destroy the earth.” 12 God continued, “My covenant is between me and you and every living creature with you. It is a covenant for all time to come. Here is the sign of the covenant I am making. 13 I have put my rainbow in the clouds. It will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Sometimes when I bring clouds over the earth, a rainbow will appear in them. 15 Then I will remember my covenant between me and you and every kind of living creature. The waters will never again become a flood to destroy all life. 16 When the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it. I will remember that my covenant will last forever. It is a covenant between me and every kind of living creature on earth.” 17 So God said to Noah, “The rainbow is the sign of my covenant. I have made my covenant between me and all life on earth.”
What did that rainbow mean to Noah and his family? I think it meant joy- you can’t have a rainbow unless the sun is shining onto the clouds; there was sunshine again after months of stormy skies. It meant hope- a sign that there was an end to the flood; an end to the most stressful and scary time of their lives. Imagine what it must have been like for them floating without any sense of when or how it would end for them. Is this what it’s like for our refugees who cling to hope on tiny crowded boats? I think that it was also a sense of security; God remembered them, He promised that He would never again destroy the world with a flood. This is an unusual covenant as it is unconditional, not the usual “if you” “then I” of the other covenants God made with His people. I also think that Jesus will return before the rising sea levels of global warming engulf us, because of this promise.
I believe that God protects those who give their lives to Jesus, we will not be destroyed. Though we die on the earth as Noah eventually did, we will be raised to life in Christ. We all go through times of overwhelming flood and dark stormy skies where we can’t see the end. The rainbow is for each of us. A sign of Gods presence and a promise that the end of suffering will come.
I will cling to Gods presence in my storms and picture His rainbow of hope and grace, until the day I see it.
Thank you God that you rescued us from destruction, not with an ark, but with the blood of your own son Jesus. Amen
Written by Dimity Milne