Genesis 9:13-17 WEB “I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it will be a sign of a covenant between me and the earth. When I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow will be seen in the cloud and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters will no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow will be in the cloud. I will look at it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” God said to Noah, “This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
The rainbow is a symbol of the promise of God to stay the hand of judgment and offer forgiveness and new life to the fallen human race. God’s powerful judgment fell on wicked humanity to purge the earth from their sin. He saved only eight. So, God sent the rainbow to comfort and keep humans and offer His mercy to them.
When the clouds gather and trouble follows our way, the reality of the rainbow assures is that salvation is at hand. When we repent and believe we are rescued from wrath. The everlasting covenant of God brings us mercy and joy in the colourful bow that overarches the earth. It includes every colour in the physical spectrum, and reflects the truth that God’s people will be from every “kindred, tribe and tongue.”
The promise does not depend on us – we have no control over the rainbow. It depends on a holy and faithful God. He will bring His people safely home. As we can never reach the end of the rainbow, so we never reach the end of God’s mercy.
Ezekiel 1:27-28 WEB “I saw as it were glowing metal, as the appearance of fire within it all around, from the appearance of his waist and upward; and from the appearance of his waist and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. As the appearance of the rainbow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. This was the appearance of the likeness of Yahweh’s glory. When I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of one that spoke.”
The glory of Christ is hard to express. His beauty glows like a vat of glowing super hot metal. We cannot look at that brightness, as it is beyond the ability of human eyes. Christ appears as fire and an unworldly light surrounds Him. That light is the radiance of the rainbow. The glory of it in the sky cannot be manufactured. It is the absolute radiance of God’s glory, brighter than any earth based rainbow. Sun and water pale into insignificance compared to the crystal light, a light not created. It is best seen in the day of rain, the darker days, when we need the reassurance of the promise of God.
The rainbow was a likeness of the glory of the Lord. The glory of the Lord is His holiness. That holiness makes His promises certain and reliable. We can trust the Lord because of who He is and He is not bound by this world and it’s rules. He made the world and everything that exists. This realisation causes the disciple John, to fall down in wonder, amazement and terror. This is the only appropriate reaction to the Lord of all.
Revelation 4:2-6 WEB “Immediately I was in the Spirit. Behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting on the throne 3 that looked like a jasper stone and a Sardius. There was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald to look at. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones. On the thrones were twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white garments, with crowns of gold on their heads. Out of the throne proceed lightnings, sounds, and thunders. There were seven lamps of fire burning before his throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Before the throne was something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal. In the middle of the throne, and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes before and behind.”
The rainbow-circled throne is the seat of the everlasting ancient of days. The judge inhabits His throne shining in His glory of Jasper and emerald. Around that great central throne are twenty four thrones where the elders sit. They sit to judge with robes white, washed in the blood of the Lamb, sacrificed before the world was born. The people of God are assuredly His even before time began.
These twenty four elders have gold crowns which they have won in the fight for the souls of women and men. The sound is of extreme turmoil in the heavens and the light comes from the perfect light of eternity that forever blazes in the presence of God. These lights are the Spirit of God who does all things perfectly and makes perfect every redeemed soul born to God. The holy, all-seeing God has never relinquished His sovereign will and the majestic outworking of His mercy towards His redeemed people.
Revelation 10:1-3 WEB “I saw a mighty angel coming down out of the sky, clothed with a cloud. A rainbow was on his head. His face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. He had in his hand a little open book. He set his right foot on the sea, and his left on the land. He cried with a loud voice, as a lion roars. When he cried, the seven thunders uttered their voices.”
This could be no other than the Lord Jesus Christ. He is robed in the beauty of the skies. Above His head, the crown of a glorious rainbow, glorifies His person and position, as the sovereign King of all. His feet straddle burg land and sea and His voice asserts His authority as the pinnacle of creation. All other voices bow to Him. The eternal promise stands unshaken. The people of God will prevail and the promised heritage of Christ will be brought safely to the perfect kingdom.
May we ensure we are part of that place. To face the rainbow circled King with unwashed robes, is eternal exclusion from His feast. As we look on Him, and remember what He has done for sinful soul like ourselves, may our knees and will bow to Him. The rainbow promise stands, so let us enter in, before Genesis ends and Revelation begins…