Focal passages: Genesis 6:11-18; 7:11-14
My four-year-old niece loves rainbows. At a recent festival, she chose to have her face painted with a rainbow. She has already requested next year’s birthday party be “rainbow-themed.” In light of recent events, all of her attention on rainbows has made me a bit uncomfortable. That’s because, in today’s society, the symbol of a rainbow holds many connotations, including an expression of support for homosexuality. But then I had to remind myself that the symbol of a rainbow goes much farther back than recent political campaigns.
Satan may be twisting it for his own agenda for this very purpose; to overshadow God’s beautiful covenant to Noah and “every living creature … for all generations” (Gen. 9:13). The rainbow, in all of its beauty, is a sign of God’s promise that He will never again flood the earth.
It is a symbol of His grace and mercy to mankind. Last week’s emphasis was on the fall of humanity and this week continues to show the wickedness of man.
In chapter six, we read that God “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” (Gen. 6:5). Being true to His character, God judges sin but is rich in mercy. He saves a remnant by extending grace to Noah, a righteous man, and his family.
The promise unfolds as God gives specific instructions to Noah to build an ark that would save his family and two of every kind of animal. Noah takes action by obediently following God’s instructions of preparation.
The flood was the Lord’s act of judgment against the wickedness of mankind. Disobedience to God leads to sure destruction. But do not miss the act of grace – God does not wipe mankind out forever.
He saves Noah and his family by providing a way out through the ark; He rescues those who are faithful to Him. As we focus on His covenant in more depth next week, keep in mind the significance of the rainbow and the great mercy of our God that it represents.