Continuing on from yesterdays post…here is part two on rainbows! :)
Just to refresh your memory, these are the 5 things I get from the text in Genesis 9:
1. It’s a covenant, not a promise (though I almost never remember this)
2. No flood will ever destroy the earth again…though it may do a whole lot of damage
3. The rainbow is a reminder
4. It’s a repetitive text…it repeats the promise (covenant) many times
5. How it applies to me in a new way now
Yesterday, I covered numbers one and two. Today I am going to write on three and four.
The third this is that when I see a rainbow, it’s a reminder. I already touched on this some yesterday, but it’s worth talking about again.
God. Keeps. His. Promises.
He hasn’t let a flood (or anything else, for that matter) destroy all living things. He kept his promise/covenant.
Which shows me that God is a promise keeper…not a liar. This may seem trivial or cliche. But it’s not. At least, it’s not to me.
If I was being honest, I would tell you that His promises used to not mean so much to me.
Wait, did I just admit that? Well the cat’s out of the bag. Darn.
The thing is, though, that His promises mean the world now. I bank on them. I cling to them. Because if HIS promises prove to be false, then there is nothing left to believe in. After all, I banked on my friends promises. I believed every word of them to be true. I would have bought stock in them, if possible. Bet my life on their truth.
And then they proved to be false. The promises fell through; my world collapsed. Why? Because I was banking on those promises.
So if Gods’ promises are false, or only good for a certain amount of time, then I have a problem. But, thankfully, that is not the case.
He will never leave me.
He will always love me.
He forgives me.
He finds me beautiful.
Those are promises from my Father and I choose to bank on those now, not earthly promises. So, yes, a rainbow reminds me that God has kept His promise about floods and that He will keep every promise He has made.
The fourth thing is that the text is repetitive.
Need a reminder?
“I’m setting up my covenant with you that never again will everything living be destroyed by floodwaters; no, never again will a flood destroy the Earth.” God continued, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and everything living around you and everyone living after you. I’m putting my rainbow in the clouds, a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth. From now on, when I form a cloud over the Earth and the rainbow appears in the cloud, I’ll remember my covenant between me and you and everything living, that never again will floodwaters destroy all life. When the rainbow appears in the cloud, I’ll see it and remember the eternal covenant between God and everything living, every last living creature on Earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I’ve set up between me and everything living on the Earth.”
By the way, I used The Message version this time.*
*There are some cool differences between The Message version and NLT. For the NLT version, read the post from yesterday.
Three times it mentions never letting a flood destroy the Earth again. The word covenant is mentioned six times. The words sign and rainbow are each mentioned three times.
Obviously, when those things are all mentioned so many times in just a few verses, there’s something important in the text. God obviously wants to get our attention in this. I don’t believe God has to repeat Himself. Why would He need to? He’s God.
But we’re humans, and we don’t like to do this thing called listening.
When I’m busy with something, focused on something, or singing to music, I’m not likely to hear my mom calling me. And, truthfully, sometimes I hear her but I pretend not to.
Because I have important things to do
Because it interrupts what I’m doing
Because I don’t want to do what she wants
Because I’m annoyed with her
Because it’s not fair; someone else should have to help
Because because because. Notice how many times I used the word I. It becomes all about me. Which is not how we’re supposed to live. What all those excuses boil down to is this: I don’t want to listen.
So she calls my name again. Eventually, I either must answer, or she’ll come to me. This is true with our relationship with our Father. I will either answer Him, or He will come to me. Because He’s that kind of amazing, pursuing God.
But occasionally? My mom will give up and call someone else. For help, for a surprise, for whatever she needed me for. And I miss out because I wasn’t willing to listen. Same with God. When I don’t answer Him, I miss out. Sure, He may be asking me to listen to what I need to do better. That’s never very fun to hear, but in the end it makes me a better person. Or, He may want me to listen to how I can help spread His peace, joy, etc. I miss out when I don’t respond. He WILL use someone else, if I refuse.
Should we really make God repeat Himself? No, I don’t think so. But I know that we are humans. It’s our nature to not always listen. I believe God understands that and knows that. So He repeats Himself. He gets our attention. He doesn’t have to, but does it anyway.