Verse of the Week:
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
Genesis 9:13 KJV
I have been seeing rainbows this week here in middle Tennessee. I have always loved rainbows and have a tendency to react a little like an excited child when I see one. I whip out my trusty smartphone and start snapping photos like it is the first time I have ever seen one and I may never encounter one again!
When I was in college I was constantly dreaming about tornadoes and rainbows. The tornadoes were likely due to my guilty conscience over my rebellious ways and the rainbows I always took as the Father’s promise to me that He still loved me!
It is interesting to note that the rainbow was the first sign of a covenant given by God and it was for all living creatures. It is known as the Noahic Covenant. It is unconditional and never ending.
And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
The word translated “bow” is the Hebrew word kehshet (קשת) which occurs seventy-seven times in the Old Testament. In all but four instances, it carries the meaning of a weapon (for archery, hunting, or battle) or for the person wielding it (archer, bowman). Once, the glory of Yehovah is likened to a rainbow (Ezekiel 1:28). The first three times it appears in Scripture, it describes the bow in the clouds (Genesis 9). Most English translation use the word bow rather than rainbow.
Rainbows are shaped like an archery bow. When God made His covenant with Noah, He had just acted as the conquering warrior against all corrupted flesh on earth with the flood. When He promised to never again destroy all flesh in this way, He placed His warrior’s bow in the clouds as a reminder to Himself (see verses 14-16) that this particular weapon would not be used ever again. It is a beautiful reminder to us of God’s promise and of His mercy.
The next time you see a rainbow, remember the significance of the covenant God made with Noah and with all life on earth. May you be giddy as a small child seeing one for the first time and give thanks to God for such a beautiful reminder!
Live it out this week
I hope you get to see a rainbow this week! Whether you do or not, take some time to read the story of Noah and the flood (Genesis 6-9). Pay particular attention to Chapter 9 and the giving of the Noahic Covenant and its beautiful sign—the rainbow!
Eternal Father, Yehovah, God of the universe, thank You for giving us rainbows after the rain to remind us of Your faithfulness to keep Your covenants with us. Though we often fail, You remain faithful through all generations. We love You, Father! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Featured image from my backyard.