Don’t you just love a rainbow! And a double rainbow is something to behold for sure! I personally don’t know a single person who doesn’t enjoy seeing the rainbow in the sky after a storm! However, as Christians we need to remember what the point and the purpose of that rainbow is. When we see a rainbow we are to remember God’s faithfulness and that He keeps His promises. I want to look back at this story with the wonder of a child. I think there are stories in the Bible that we all learned as children that I know sometimes I forget to study a little closer. So let’s look a little deeper at what had happened here.
Noah was a righteous man in God’s sight among a whole lot of corruption going on around Him. The earth was filled with violence and corruption yet this man Noah, he walked with God in spite of what was going on around him. And God told Noah to build a boat. Now I remember reading somewhere that before this the earth had not even seen rain so what do you think all those corrupt people did as Noah was building a boat in the middle of nowhere near a body of water. I am sure they ridiculed and they pointed fingers and laughed. How do I know that? Because they were humans!
So Noah builds this boat to God’s specifications. God tells Noah to take his family and animals of every living kind, male and female into this boat, and to take food and store it and Noah did all of this. And Noah and his family did all that the Lord said and then they waited seven days for it to start raining. And then it rained for forty days and forty nights. Now we have been in a rainy season lately, but we have never seen a rainy season like this rainy season. It rained nonstop for forty days and nights after the family of Noah had sat in the Ark for seven days. Now when we see depictions of the Ark in children’s books and pictures, it looks very idyllic but can you imagine being cooped up on a boat with all those animals and feeding them? And then cleaning after them, I just about bet it was not the most pleasant smelling place to be.
But that’s not all, in Genesis chapter 7 the last verse says:
“And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.” Genesis 7:24
So now Noah and his family and all of those animals have been on this boat for 197 days! Now when I was a child I didn’t have the concept that it rained for those forty days then the water prevailed for 150 days before it even started drying up. Then God brings a wind and it took another 150 days for the waters to decrease. Finally after 347 days cooped up on the ark it finally hits ground and the ark came to rest on a mountain. Then Noah waits 40 more days to open a window and Noah sends out a raven, then a dove but the dove returns. So now we are 387 days in, then Noah waited another 7 days and he sends the dove again, this time the dove returns with an olive leaf. Can you imagine, the encouragement they felt 394 days after entering the Ark when a dove returned with a leaf in it’s beak. Then he waits another 7 days, and sends the dove out again and it didn’t return. So at 401 days in, Noah and his family can at least remove the covering from the ark. Then after waiting another two months Noah and his family can get off of the ark.
Friends I don’t know about you but when I look at that realistically, and think of that many days cooped up on a boat with animals and even the people I love the most in this world, I don’t know how they didn’t go stir crazy! I bet there were some not so pleasant moments on that boat with stinky animals and stinky people. But when Noah and his family emerge from the boat, Noah builds an altar to worship God. He had gratitude and admiration for what God had done. Now I am afraid, I would have been cranky by then. I know I have a tendency to be cranky when I have to wait and have patience. But Noah, he was in awe of God and he worshipped!
And then God gives Noah the promise in Genesis chapter 9.
“I establish my covenant with you that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the water of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” Genesis 9:11
God gave this promise to Noah and it is for us all. I don’t know about you, but when I look at the days that Noah’s family had to spend on the ark it puts a new perspective and it encourages me that when I feel I am trapped in a circumstance or a situation that I don’t feel is changing at the rate I want it to, that it may still be raining, or the waters may be subsiding, but if I have been obedient that I am being protected much like Noah and his family were on the Ark. It may be a situation that feels dark and smelly, but one day God will tell me to get out of the boat and I will see His faithfulness.
And even more than that God gave Noah and all future generations (that’s us) a sign of this promise. How great is our God that thousands of years later He is still reminding us.
“I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” Genesis 9:13-16
Next time you see a rainbow, let’s not just think how pretty, let’s be reminded that God is remembering His promise to us and let’s be sure to thank Him as we remember His faithfulness!