GOD’S PROMISE IN THE SKY
My husband and I met through enterprising church friends who thought we’d make a good match. Subsequently we would find ourselves at the same house for Sabbath dinner or squeezed next to each other in the same pew. We had caught on to them, but not yet to each other, when it was decided (also by them) that he should follow me as we drove to a church campout.
We found ourselves literally driving directly into the end of a rainbow.
That ride was one of the most memorable ever taken as we found ourselves literally driving directly into the end of a rainbow. This was before the age of cellphones, so we experienced it together but separately, unable to express the awe of color shining in front and around us.
Needless to say, when we planned our wedding we made the theme about the rainbow. The colors we chose (pastel, not primary), and our custom-made invitation invited our friends and family to watch us covenant our love as God had covenanted His. One of my daughters while looking at the pictures from that day said, “You couldn’t do that today.”
Unfortunately, she’s right. The rainbow today is less about God’s love, and more about symbolizing sexual preference, the loss of beloved pets, the birth of a child after a miscarriage, or healthcare workers in a crisis. The human race has managed to take one of God’s most beautiful signs and make it about us.
The human race has managed to take one of God’s most beautiful signs and make it about us.
Ellen White had a similar experience viewing a rainbow as my husband and I. Afterwards she wrote: “As we look upon this bow, the seal and sign of God’s promise to man, that the tempest of His wrath should no more desolate our world by the waters of a flood, we contemplate that other than finite eyes are looking upon this glorious sight. Angels rejoice as they gaze upon this precious token of God’s love to man. The world’s Redeemer looks upon it; for it was through His instrumentality that this bow was made to appear in the heavens, as a token or covenant of promise to man. God Himself looks upon the bow in the clouds and remembers His everlasting covenant between Himself and man” (Our High Calling, p. 314).
The first time I read that I was amazed. I thought rainbows were for me—a comforting reminder that rain will end with no cataclysmic circumstances. But the rainbow is so much more—it is a tie that binds heaven and earth together. We remember. All heaven remembers. And together we are renewed.
Two interesting points that can be understood from the flood story.
1. Embedded in the flood story is the understanding of waiting on God. Review the timings in the Bible text of the flood story. Noah removes the covering of the ark and sees that the ground is dry (Gen. 8:13). The next step after that is leaving the ark itself (verses 14-16). Note that the time elapsed between those verses is almost two months! This is a strong illustration of faith, patience, and obedience. From all Noah could see there was no reason not to leave the ark, yet God does not open the door. Instead of complaining, imagining work-arounds, or somehow crawling out the top, they wait for God’s timing even when it might appear that God had simply forgotten them. Something to remember next time you are waiting.
2. There is a strong parallel between the opening chapters of Genesis (1-3) and the flood story (6-9). The flood creates a watery chaos, just as in Genesis 1 where we find the earth covered in water. The flood water is blown by wind (8:1), just as the water on the surface of the deep in creation is acted upon by the Spirit of God. After the waters receded from the flood, dry land appears, and God brings forth Noah, his family, and the animals. In the Creation story God brings forth the animals by their families as well as man. The flood essentially is a re-creation story. God beginning again. Out of the chaos comes God’s plan.
Making it Real
We are promised that God will never destroy the world again by flood. But Jesus compares the last days to be like Noah (Matt. 24:37). So, we know this life will end when Jesus comes. A devastation is coming. Not another flood, but the ending of sin.
Those who lived prior to the flood were unconvinced by Noah’s preaching. Some believed for a while, but eventually followed the crowd. We must begin now to shore ourselves up with truth. We must study our Bibles diligently, seek a life of prayer, and ask for discernment and strength as this world grows steadily more wicked.
Jesus is coming again. Do not study the story of Noah and the flood with your children or casually read through Genesis without heeding the warnings. Those given then are the same now. Be ready. Be ready. Be ready. He is coming soon.
Respond & Share
How do we help a secular world hear our voice of warning to repent and believe? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being the grandmother of two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus.
Coming next week:
Based on Psalm 53:2, Genesis 11:1-9;
PP 117-124; SR 72-74; BS, vol. 1, pp. 24-130