the meaning behind the rainbow

The meaning behind the rainbow

As light’s hidden colours are reflected through water-drops at just the right angle, the rainbow is truly a piece of art that is masterfully formed. As an artist, it is not only an appreciation of the beauty and technique of the artwork but also the intentionality behind it that draws me to a greater appreciation for a piece. So what is the intention behind this natural masterpiece we enjoy on those rainy days? Many have heard of the coles notes account of Noah. He’s the guy that built an ark big enough to house two of every type of living creature and escaped a worldwide flood that wiped out the face of the earth. The end right? Not exactly. Let’s look at why this historic catastrophe happen in the first place.
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord….And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
(Genesis 6:5-8,12-13 ESV)
This is a good example of a generation that was a big advocate of the “live life as we please without judgement” mentality. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Even now, we fail to equate that as imperfect and self-destructive beings, exercising our self-entitled freedoms to do whatever our hearts desire in exchange for morality and justice, doesn’t exactly lead us to the utopia we think it will. Our sinful nature which creates collateral damage towards others and our environment hasn’t changed even up to our current day and age. We’re just good at convincing ourselves that it’s not there or that it’s someone else’s problem. So why doesn’t God just go ahead and unleash another worldwide flood to extinguish us all if we are turning out exactly the same way as our predecessors? Here is where the significance of the rainbow truly shines. After the flood, God made a covenant with Noah.
I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
(Genesis 9:11-13 ESV)
The rainbow is an active symbol of God’s promise to all of creation that we will never again experience such a destructive, world-wide flood as what Noah and his family experienced during their time. It is a testament to the magnitude of God’s mercy and grace for us despite our self-destructive, self-righteous nature and the fact that we are constantly rejecting Him. It gives us a glimpse of God’s patience and long-suffering for us and his unfailing faithfulness to keep His promises. It is an active display of God’s love for all of mankind and His desire for all to know of His love and come to know Him. So the next time you see a rainbow, whether in the skies or in a drawing, remember the true meaning behind this magnificent masterpiece and God’s ever vigilant love for you.
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