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Posts Tagged ‘floods’

Here’s another misconception that has bit the dust today out of the Genesis story. All this time, I have been getting all mooney-eyed over rainbows, thanking God for his covenant and seeing them as a “sign” of God’s protection and promise. In fact, my husband and I can name off all the times rainbows have appeared at significant moments: getting married, adoption, buying our house, and so on. We saw them as a blessing.

Genesis 9:9-10a; 13; 16
I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you . . . I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. . . Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.

Oh, I’m sure God doesn’t really mind that rainbows are important to us as a family and as a couple. But really, despite what I have been taught, and sure, it’s a fine sign for the covenant/contract that God made with Noah, but we’d better be clear here. I’m thinking now that God selected that sign as reminder for himself. God will see it. God will remember. God will not destroy the earth by flood (maybe by something else, but not by water).

Rainbows appear at the confluence of light and precipitation. It’s the turning point. It’s the moment when things can go toward sunshine and clear skies to an overcast and dreary day.

It’s as though God is saying, “Oh, the temptation: I could just let it rain and rain and rain.” But God doesn’t because God remembers that there is always hope in Human transformation.

Today, I saw a photographer’s work. Roman Sakovich, who artificially created the juxtaposition of what someone healthy (one side) looks like next to the side that has succumbed to drug abuse. It’s the same scenario in my mind, the same warning of what could be, what I choose, where I  draw the line, what will I believe? The rainbow is the dividing line.

We can see it, the sign, but I think it’s more of a warning than a promise. It’s a “don’t forget” what I [God] can do.

This is a hard thing to consider in the aftermath of the many devastating rain-based storms we have had in the last couple of years. People’s lives have been washed away. Their futures abruptly halted. Their hope crushed by the hand of nature’s unexpected brutality.

It could happen to me. It could happen to you. “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” [Romans 8:22]

A covenant, or contract, is binding and is between two sides. In this case, the covenant was made with Noah, as a representative for Human, and God. The covenant, by its nature, has an “if” clause. It is conditional. We have a role in this first covenant as much as we have in the covenants that followed. This one was easiest in many ways: remember and acknowledge. That’s it.

Remember Who made the covenant with Human. Acknowledge the promise not to destroy, despite God’s ability to do so.

The sign is not merely a “blessing,” it’s the stamp on the promise to NOT do something. Not destroy. The next time I see a rainbow, I think I’ll lift up thanks. Thanks God for giving us yet another day to live in harmony with one another and with nature and the creatures who populate our earth. Thanks God for saving Earth, one more time.

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