Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rain, Rainbows & Promises

Rain, Rainbows & Promises
March 7, 2011
Genesis 9:13 "'I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.'"

Prior to the great flood, that Noah was able to avoid by traveling in the giant Ark, it had never rained. You know the story. As strange as it sounds, rain had never fallen from the sky to water the earth. Then God changed the order of things when He allowed the great flood that brought judgment on all the inhabitants of the earth (except for Noah and his family). God changed the natural process for His creation, rain would now fall from the sky. And rain, it did. Clouds covered the earth and it rained for 40 days. It must have been a very ominous sight for the earth's inhabitants, even those in the Ark, seeing rain for the very first time. Imagine the fear it must have created.

But God didn't let it rain forever; He stopped the flood waters that were falling from the sky. When the rain subsided and Noah came out of the Ark, Noah saw something else the earth had never seen before - a rainbow. The scientific explanation of a rainbow is rather simple; it is created when falling droplets of water pass through the sun's rays, reflecting the light, leaving an arc of colors (like a prism). The new rain naturally caused the new phenomenon of a rainbow. But listen to what God said about the rainbow:
"'I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.'"

God used the rainbow as a symbol of His covenant with us, promising that the earth would never be destroyed by rain ever again. But Noah didn't need the rainbow as such a covenant, to know he would not be destroyed. Noah was saved from the judgment; he wasn't afraid of God destroying him. God's covenant was necessary for future generations. Noah had the Ark; in theory, he could climb inside and avoid another flood. But God knew the temptation of a man to trust in physical things. God did not want Noah to live in the sort of fear where he needed to stay close to the Ark every time it rained. God wanted Noah to be blessed and live a fruitful life. God wanted Noah to live with the peace in his heart that it was safe to live a life free from past fears. Noah needed to know it was safe to leave the Ark forever, to leave the past in order to have a future, to know every time it rained he didn't need to jump in the boat.

God wants that same peace for you and me, too. He wants us to have peace in our hearts knowing it is safe to live a life free from the fear of past events. God wanted Noah to understand that the fear of the flood should be in the past. Just as God delivered Noah, God has delivered you and me from so many things; I know you can recall certain events you never wish to have repeated in your future. Remember those times, but only as a testament to what God did for you when He delivered you from them. Don't let your past create fear for your future. Don't live each new day with the fear of what might happen. If you do, you will never leave the "Ark." Noah didn't live a life of fruitfulness and blessing by staying in the Ark. He left the past (the Ark) and did not live in fear of his future.

The rainbow was a promise of hope for Noah. Ask God to give you such a promise today. Open His Scriptures; I know there is a promise in there for you. Leave the "Ark" behind and trust God for an amazing future.

1. What are your fears from your past?
2. How are those fears affecting your future?
3. How can you trust the Lord to help you avoid the fear of the past?

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Gen 7 - 9, Ps 32:8, Ps 121:7-8, Pr 8:17, Is 30:18, Is 42:16, Is 54:10, Matt 11:28, Lk 18:27, John 10:27-28, John 16:33, 2 Cor 9:8, Phil 4:19, 2 Peter 1:3-10, 1 John 2:25, 1 John 5:14

No comments: