This wonderful and slightly enhanced scene was captured near Pecos NM a couple weeks ago. Over the course of 4 days at this place, I think I saw a rainbow each day and double-rainbows at least two times. It is odd that something so common fascinates me every time I see one. Today’s culture has attributed a variety of meanings to rainbows, but I hold to its significance as a symbol of a promise made a long, long time ago.
After the flood (the one that made Noah famous), God acknowledged what He wrought in His judgement of sin that had grown rampant through creation. Only a handful of people were spared from this judgement, and God made a covenant with Noah that He would never again judge via a global flood:
“This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” Genesis 9:12-15.
So that rainbow is God’s reminder to us of that promise. At a glance, this sounds very comforting, but don’t get too comfortable. God did not promise that He wouldn’t judge sin in the world again, He only stated that worldwide flood wouldn’t be the tool of judgement. In fact, He has promised that sin will be judged, but next time the tool will be fire! Isn’t it interesting that two quite opposite forces are the tools He chooses to use?
But take heart, there is a way to survive the next judgement! Ken Ham, the CEO of Answers In Genesis, explains this very well:
When the secular world hears the account of Noah’s global Flood, they often accuse God of being an ogre for bringing this terrible judgment on people. However, the God of the Bible is a God of infinite mercy and grace.
God told Noah to build an Ark to save representative land animal kinds and Noah’s family. However, this Ark was much larger than needed for just these animals and this family. Just as Noah and his family had to go through the door to be saved, so others could have gone through that door to be saved. In fact, after the Ark was loaded, it stood for seven more days before God Himself shut the door—seven more days of grace. And I have no doubt that Noah preached from the doorway, imploring people to come in and be saved. Noah’s Ark is actually a picture of salvation in Christ, as He is the door through which we need to go to be saved for eternity (John 10:9).
All need to be reminded that we sinned in Adam—we committed high treason against the God of creation. God is holy and pure—completely without sin. A holy God has to judge sin, but in His judgment, He also shows infinite mercy. When God judged sin with death in Genesis 3:19, He also promised a Savior (Genesis 3:15). God Himself, in the person of the second member of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ, stepped into history, fully human and fully God, to be a man so He could pay the penalty for our sin. Through the shedding of His blood, He offers the free gift of salvation to all who will believe.