“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.'” (Genesis 9:12-13, ESV)
In this week’s reading from Genesis we find God’s covenant to Noah and his family following the great flood which wiped out all life on earth except for the eight men and women and all the animals on the Ark. We do not know how Noah and family felt about what had happened although they must have had a greater appreciation for the serious nature of sin. They knew how much the Lord hated sin and had experienced the awesome power of His judgement that went to such great lengths to eradicate it, something we in the modern world should take note of. He is indeed serious about the evil nature of sin. We should be also.
But in addition to God’s judgement, we also see His mercy and grace. Once the flood has receded, life had to begin anew. God knew that mankind would be wondering if He would ever do this again. If so, how could they live without great fear, how could they go on or why? Therefore the Lord made a covenant. He pledged to Noah and to all mankind and all other living creatures that He would never again destroy the world by flood. His pledge is the rainbow that we see after a rain shower. Now, every time we see a rainbow, we should rejoice as we remember God’s trustworthiness and love. The rainbow is a sign of God’s faithfulness to His covenant. It reminds us that He always keeps His promises even when we do not. Therefore we can trust Him to truly forgive our sins and carry us through all the storms of our own lives.