An Arch of Promise

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I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud,  Genesis 9:13-14 (NASB)

When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”  Genesis 9:16 (NASB)

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…….And clouds are the dust beneath His feet.  Nahum 1:3 (NASB)

An artist stands before her easel, paintbrush in hand. Impressive scenery takes shape on her canvas. Any bystander can gage the size of the artist to the scene she creates. Using this frame of reference, imagine God before His heavenly canopy placing His bow, His rainbow, in a cloud. 

At any time onlookers can gaze at God’s magnificent scenes in the heavens. When we realize the greatness of our Creator, it becomes easier to comprehend how clouds are the dust of His feet. Those massive billowy forms bear His footprints. He walks among the clouds. He is mighty.

Sometimes those billows bring rain. If they are rolled up ferociously into a hurricane with gale force winds and surging waters, devastation occurs. The southeastern coast of the United States is experiencing such turbulence. My home state of North Carolina, as well as the state of South Carolina, is encountering extreme ruin. Danger, destruction, and clouds surround all residents. Many of my family and friends live there. Intense weather has whipped throughout the area. Everyday life has been stripped away. The normal routine has been submerged. It’s back to the basics of life, the barebones of existence. No fluff, only rough. Where is God? And why has He allowed such disaster? 

I don’t understand why this tragedy has happened. I can’t answer why the God of the universe didn’t stop the hurricane. He is God and I am not. But I do know that He is available to all who call on His name. He meets us where we are. Could it be He wants us to yearn for Him more than anything in this world?

Noah and his family survived a catastrophic flood. They were the only ones who survived. Death and destruction had confined them to the ark. Their old life was gone. They were in survival mode. They lived through forty cloudy days and nights as water swelled around their vessel. Forty straight days and nights of rain and clouds! Were they frightened? Angry? Yearning for their stuff? Quite possibly they were sick and tired of clouds. Did they complain? Did they forget God was near?  

I think I can answer those questions with a resounding YES! If I had been on the ark or if I was on North Carolina’s coast right now, I would be crying with fear. I might be screaming WHY while I wished for my old life back. I’m sure I would see the clouds as just clouds and not the dust of His feet. 

Until the day God sets His rainbow in the clouds.

The rainbow was God’s promise to Noah of an everlasting covenant with His people. The rainbow guarantees a brighter day. Hope for tomorrow. The silver lining in the clouds. An array of breathtaking color.

The rainbow calls to remembrance the covenant between God and man. Its appearance reminds us that we are not forgotten. Its beauty awakens us to the presence of an Almighty God. We can celebrate, not only at Christmas time but every single day, the presence of Immanuel, God with us, Jesus Christ. And Jesus promised He would never leave us or forsake us. He is faithful.

Suffering usually strips us of our pretenses. It brings us to our knees, down to the nitty-gritty. And that’s where we can find Jesus waiting on us. To lift us up in times of sorrow, sickness, and sadness. To help us in our times of need. To offer hope when it’s all gone. As Scripture tells us:God also bound himself with an oath, so that those he promised to help would be perfectly sure and never need to wonder whether he might change his plans.

He has given us both his promise and his oath, two things we can completely count on, for it is impossible for God to tell a lie. Now all those who flee to him to save them can take new courage when they hear such assurances from God; now they can know without doubt that he will give them the salvation he has promised them.

This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself behind the sacred curtains of heaven, where Christ has gone ahead to plead for us from his position as our High Priest, with the honor and rank of Melchizedek.  Hebrews 6:17-20 (TLB)

He has promised to Noah and to us. He will do it. Do you believe?