What Does the Rainbow Mean?

My kids have recently become astonished with rainbows.

Not that they are drawing them or that they are collecting them, but they are amazed when they see them in the sky. They have also been determined to find out what was at the end of a rainbow (which was an interesting and frustrating conversation with a three-year-old).

Many will know the story of the rainbow. Chapter 9 of the book of Genesis, a conclusion to the narration of the flood, gives us this promise. Starting from verse 8, He says,

”And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;”

However, in verse 13 we see the sign of this covenant. The Bible says,

“I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.”

This gives us the understanding that we have been given the rainbow, as a sign that God would never again pour out his wrath on the world in the form of water.

What we need to understand, is that this covenant is not an isolated event. God has been telling a story since the foundation of the world. He has been telling the story of redemption. And this story builds and grows in phases and we can see those “phases” in the covenants that He gives.

Throughout the Bible God makes covenants with his people, which is all part of one main covenant; what we call the “Covenant of Grace.”

With each of the covenants that God makes, He reveals a little more about the Covenant Keeper that is to come. Ultimately all the covenants are meant to point us to Jesus and how He would come to save His people from their sin.

Scripture is specific in the wording it uses. The Hebrew word, in verse 13, is qeshet, which is a weapon.

You see, God was giving us the gospel in Genesis! The sign of this covenant that He would not pour out wrath on the earth again was a bow pointed to the heavens. God is telling us that the next time He poured out wrath it would be on Himself!

Every time we see a rainbow, may we be reminded that God has poured out His wrath for sin upon His own Son and that we, just as Noah, can find salvation from this wrath in Him!

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