“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Genesis 9:12-16 (N.I.V.)
The drive home in the early hours of the smothering Alabama August evening along the winding route promised nothing out of the ordinary. As our Honda’s tires swished along the hot asphalt it began to sprinkle while sunlight poured down behind us and on the passenger side of the car. The rain alternated between just a sprinkle and a light downpour and as usual I remarked about it raining while the sun shined, quite ordinary during an Alabama summertime shower. I don’t remember who spotted the rainbow first, my husband or our daughter, but initially it was just pieces of the arching colors flitting through the storm clouds.
Then it became clearer, the closer we drove to it and suddenly the end of the rainbow was right there on the road and off the side of the two lane road! Then even more quickly we had driven through it! For a few seconds our white Honda was bathed in every color of the rainbow and our view of the world was flavored just the same.
While my daughter looked back to “see the pot of gold” and my husband teased her I remembered another rainbow ending during the first year of our marriage while my husband was deployed. I had been sitting in the living room of our rented ranch style home while it stormed outside. I was exhausted, with my husband away I dealt with the loneliness by working extra hours. One minute there was a storm raging overhead and the next this delicious golden and rosy hued light lit up the front window right through the blinds into the room. I hurried to that window, curious as to what was causing such a glorious light and as I pulled the blinds back my mouth dropped open in wonder. Our house and the two across the street were bathed in the end of a rainbow. Furthermore, the windows of the houses and their doors reflected the rainbows hues back towards our house. A double whammy of rainbow delight!
This time though there wasn’t time to completely enjoy the sheer beauty of the rainbow’s hues as we drove through. Nonetheless it reminded all three of us of the promise of God made to Noah thousands and thousands and thousands of years ago. Our daughter brought it up first, “The rainbow is reminding us that God will never destroy any of the earth by flood again.”
“No, I replied,” at which she looked shocked. “God’s promise was never to destroy the whole earth and all His creation by flood again. He didn’t promise to never allow floods to destroy parts of the earth.”
“Oh,” she said, “are you sure?”
“Yes honey, I’m sure. And I can show you in the Bible where it says so.”
There were other things I will share with her about the Noahic Covenant. Including that it’s called that when referred to as one of the Major Covenants of the Old Testament, or how it is an unconditional divine promise. The N.I.V. Study Bible note on Genesis 9:9 stated that God was promising not to use a catastrophic event to destroy all of mankind “until his purposes for his creation are fully realized”. I will tell her that I learned something new in looking into the Scripture regarding Noah and the promise in every rainbow because prior to I had always believed, as taught growing up, that it had never rained on earth before the flood and henceforth there was also never a rainbow. But, how according to the N.I.V. Study Bible note on Genesis 9:13, I learned that rain and the rainbow had existed before the flood but that after the flood God used them in a new way to establish the Noahic Covenant.
However, for the time being, I am content to let her marvel in the beauty of seeing her first end of the rainbow and her ten-year old eyes to drift off to sleep with the vision still new in her eyes. One day, when we see a rainbow again (whether that’s in the sky or elsewhere) I’ll bring up the new fact I learned and a couple of the other facts as well. I’ll show her the Bible references and we’ll read all the footnotes together. I’ll encourage her to explore the study herself.
Eventually with each rainbow we see together we’re cover all Mama knows about the Noahic Covenant. I’ll use each opportunity to remind her of this one time we drove through the end of one of God’s rainbow reminders on an ordinary summer showery day in rural Alabama and how, doing so, colored our view of the world throughout eternity – as everlasting as the Covenant between God and Noah and all mankind.
What ordinary moment in daily life has colored your view of the world with a reminder of God’s promises?