A Promise in the Sky
Earlier this summer at Franklin Baptist Church in Salisbury, NC, members of the congregation listened not only to Pastor Joe’s sermon, but also to sounds of rain on the metal roof. Thunder could be heard in the distance. Thankfully, the storm passed quickly and at the conclusion of the service everyone walked out pleasantly surprised to see the sun and a beautiful rainbow that seemed to perfectly frame the church. Michelle Hatfield must have thought so, too, because she took a picture. Thanks, Michelle.
Rainbows often seem to come out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly. The atmosphere has to be just right for the light to divide into colors, turning into a rainbow. As a kindergarten teacher, I often taught my students to remember the colors by using the acronym, ROYGBIV. One of their favorite activities was to make a rainbow out of paper plates. We often hung them from the ceiling.
I first learned about rainbows as a little girl when my Sunday School teacher shared the story of Noah and the ark. I learned God warned Noah he was going to send a flood and gave him directions for building a boat. Genesis doesn’t specifically say how long it took Noah to build the ark, but it seems the answer lies somewhere between 100 and 120 years. Even though he was laughed at, Noah believed God and kept on working. Finally, the day came to close the door. God didn’t want any one to perish, but because hearts were hardened no one listened to God’s warning except Noah’s family. When the rains came, it was too late. Those outside perished.
Once the floods receded God promised he would never send a flood again to destroy the world. The rainbow is a sign or covenant of that promise. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there anymore be a flood to destroy the earth. … I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. (Genesis 9:11-15, KJV) Some scientists believe there had never been a rainbow before the flood because the earth had been covered with a canopy. In their opinion, the flood changed everything.
Last year several friends from church toured the replica of Noah’s Ark that’s on display in Williamstown, Kentucky. Their first impression was that it was big. The replica was built using the same dimensions as those in the Bible. My friends said every detail was thought of, even down to how the animals would be fed.
If we look around we see design and order in all of God’s creation because after all he is the ultimate mathematician. While the rainbow signifies a promise, the colors also have purpose. The color red signifies the blood Jesus shed for our sins while the color purple stands for his royalty. If you’re interested in learning more about the Biblical significance of the rainbow or its colors, Gotquestions.org. is a good resource.
What does a rainbow in the sky mean to you? Does it remind you of God’s promise? When was the last time you saw one? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.