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….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 9:13-14,16 (NASB)
An artist stands on the street before her easel, paintbrush in hand. Working with the colors from her palette, she applies paints to her canvas. Bystanders breathlessly wait for the finished product as spectacular scenery begins to take shape. Her vision fashions an incredible landscape.
Now imagine our Creator God at work before His heavenly canvas. He designs His radiant rainbow in a cloud, the clouds that Scripture says are the dust of His feet (Nahum 1:3). If those massive billowy forms bear His footprints, how mighty is He, our Creator of the rainbow?
It staggers my mind to contemplate God’s magnificent grandeur. As I gaze into the heavens encircling me, I’m filled with awe and wonder. If my God is so big, surely I can trust Him to take care of me, my family, and our needs. I am comforted with the knowledge that I serve a majestic and powerful God until I notice the dark clouds of a fierce storm or hear of mighty clouds swirling into a ferocious hurricane. Then fear blows in with gale force winds and I start to wonder where God is.
Over the last several years, the southeastern coast of the United States experienced massive turbulence in the forms of Hurricanes Irma, Florence, and Michael. The states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina encountered extreme ruin. Those mighty clouds brought danger and destruction to many residents, including some of my family and friends. More recently Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas, leaving behind death and devastation.
How could this happen? Why did God allow such disaster? Did He walk away from His own creation?
I don’t know. I have no answers for any of those questions. When I see such desolation, I am plagued with doubt about a caring God. But then I take time to reread His Word, and He reminds me of His faithfulness. Over and over again, He confirms His steadfast love. He answers us when we seek Him (Psalm 34:4-6). He is available to all who call on His name (Psalm 116:3-6). He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Even though it may seem impossible at times, we can count on Him no matter what.
Remember Noah in the ninth chapter of Genesis? Noah and his family experienced a catastrophic flood. God protected them in an ark while death swirled all around them. Except for the creatures they had gathered and led onto the boat, all else was gone. For forty days and nights, they endured confinement and uncertainty. Forty straight days and nights of rain and clouds! Imagine how much water surrounded their vessel. Were they frightened? Angry? Yearning for their old life? Did they complain? Did they forget God was near?
I think I can answer all those questions with a resounding YES! If I had been on the ark or North Carolina’s coast or in the Bahamas, I would have been crying with fear. I probably would have screamed WHY while I wished for my old life back. Big billowy dark clouds would have depressed me. I surely would not have seen them as the dust of God’s feet.
But then a rainbow appeared!
When God placed His rainbow in the clouds, it signified an everlasting covenant with all of God’s creatures, a solemn promise between God and all of earth. He promised never again to destroy all life in a flood. He declared the rainbow a reminder to Himself. Even to this day, the rainbow guarantees God’s promise. Its colorful array reminds us to hold onto hope and believe God is near to us whenever we need Him.
Hear with your heart His own words of truth. Know He is faithful.
God’s rainbow gives us pause to remember His covenant with man. Its appearance proclaims we are not forgotten. Its beauty awakens us to the presence of an Almighty God through His Holy Spirit. We can celebrate 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. When we call out to Jesus, we find Him waiting on us. He lifts us up in times of sorrow, sickness, and sadness. He offers hope when life appears hopeless. He is faithful.
When clouds gather, remember His rainbow. He is faithful.