Hazel Adamson: June 2020
Hazel Adamson writes..."Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking." (Ezekiel 1:28)
"At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne." (Revelation 4: 2-3)
"Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars." (Revelation 10:1)
Lovely as the children's versions of the rainbow have been and are on behalf of the tremendous work the NHS staff have been doing, sitting pride of place in peoples windows, they never-the-less do not depict the true meaning of the rainbow.
Similarly the LGBTQ+ movement, uses the rainbow to symbolise gender and sexual identity diversity.
Even the 'pot of gold' to be found at the end of a rainbow takes us away from its true importance.
The first mention of the rainbow in the Bible is the sign that the earth will never be flooded again (Genesis 9:11).
Yet as we do with much Biblical truth the rainbow, a pretty sign of hope for children's drawings, we leave at Sunday School level. Whilst it must please the Lord that children take delight in this lovely sign of the rainbow, as with all the above agendas, it is not being used to teach people about God.
The multicoloured rainbow could be said to define Father God, Jesus the Christ, the Holy Spirit or Trinitarian Godhead. With its multicoloured, multifaceted image in the sky, the rainbow brings joy. It brings a reminder of God's love and endurance, his mercy and forgiveness.
The Biblical writers certainly knew the awesomeness of the rainbow, and indeed God didn't intend for it to be used for just one setting ie The Flood. The rainbow arches from Genesis to Revelation encompassing all of God's word and intentions.
Ezekiel likens the rainbow to the glory of God. The Lord's throne, the place of judgment, surrounded by a rainbow of mercy. It breaks through the clouds of unbelief, breaks through the gloom into the amazing prism of justice and forgiveness.
The Hebrew word for rainbow (qeset) is also the word used for the bow an archer uses in battle. God is saying: "I have set my battle bow in the clouds."
In the case of Noah's time, God had judged and had now put aside his bow of judgement (which arcs like a rainbow) and gave, in his mercy, the recurring rainbow as the sign of grace and peace to all generations.
Today the rainbow in the clouds looks pretty and makes us smile. But the rainbow isn't just for us!
When God sees the bow, he promises it will remind Him of the covenant He has made with us. Just think, as we see the rainbow in the sky, imagine God looking at us that very moment as well! "When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh.... When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant...." (Genesis 9:15)
The rainbow is a sign of God's patience, his sorrow and of his deliverance, and is as relevant to us today as in Noah's time.
Jesus warned that the sin of mankind would increase again to be like the times of Noah. (Matthew 37-39) The Lord, from his rainbow throne, is the true mercy-giver and life-saver and will bring his kingdom in.
So is it time for us, as the people of God, to reclaim the rainbow?
Reading: Isaiah 54:9-10
Song: Make way, make way MP457
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