Thursday, July 23, 2015




September brought with it spring showers to Tasmania. My friend told me that it was the land of many rainbows. Many rainbows I saw! One of the most beautiful was suspended in the air over the deep Derwent River in Hobart. It straddled both shores, more picturesque than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Life began anew in Tasmania as trees in the orchards began placing perfume behind their ears and on their wrists as they tried to entice sleepy bees into kissing them. Like summer dresses all the colours of the rainbow were in their flowering buds.

Rainbows are beautiful, but what is a rainbow? Is it merely droplets of water hanging in the air refracting light? Or is there more to the rainbow than this? After the Flood God said: “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” Genesis 9:12&13. The rainbow, then, is the sign of God’s covenant with the earth.

What is a covenant? Charles Hodge says: “A covenant is a promise suspended upon a condition.” When God instituted the rainbow as a sign of the covenant He said: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” Genesis 8:22). Notice that the conditional promise stands while earth remains. However, ultimately Jesus Christ is God’s covenant or conditional promise to us: “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen…” 2 Corinthians 1:20. Jesus, then, is the true sign of God’s everlasting covenant. He is the everlasting covenant (e.g. see Isa. 42:6; 49:8). Therefore, somehow the rainbow is a picture of Jesus.

He died suspended between heaven and earth. And when He ascended bodily up to heaven “while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight… ‘This same Jesus… will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:9,10). “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him” Revelation 1:7a, (see also Dan. 7:13).

God’s conditional promise is well illustrated in the following oft quoted verse: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16. The condition for receiving everlasting life is that we believe in God’s covenant Jesus Christ.

I remember many years ago seeing a classmate bathed in a rainbow. He had gone to fetch a stray soccer ball from the playing field. He was asked to stop where one end of a rainbow had touched down. Someone yelled to him, “Quick! Start digging.” God bathes His children with His rainbow as He shines His light upon us through the prism of His Son Jesus Christ. When He sees us in Christ He remembers His everlasting covenant.

Excerpted from my ebook The Song of Creation -

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