The sight of a rainbow can trigger many thoughts. Spotting one might conjure up fairy tales of leprechauns and pots teeming with gold.
In real life, however, rainbows do point to important things. For instance, mariners have long known that rainbows can be used to predict the weather. Generally speaking, weather moves from west to east, thus the old saying, “Rainbow in the morning, sailors take warning; rainbow at night, a sailor’s delight.”
Though a rainbow is typically as trustworthy as a local meteorologist’s forecast, predicting weather was not its original purpose. The rainbow was (and still is) a sign of God’s promise that He would never again use floodwaters to destroy all life on the earth (Genesis 9:12-17). And even though violent storms and heavy rains—even severe localized flooding—still occur, nothing like Noah experienced will take place now or in the future.
God said that when He would see a rainbow, He would remember His promise: “When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life” (Genesis 9:14-15).
Really? Could God actually forget His promise? No way! Our Creator is all-knowing. But, by way of example, He might have been teaching Noah (and the rest of His image-bearers) about the importance ofremembering.
The Bible is filled with stories that teach us certain things our Creator doesn’t want us ever to forget. So the next time you spot a rainbow, think of Noah, and then ask God if there’s something else He wants you to remember about Him and what He’s done.
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Cecil Wood, Christian