I write these words in my home, awaiting the slow approach of Hurricane Florence. Already, those along the coast in my state are being impacted by record amounts of rainfall and the flooding which is only sure to get worse over the next few days. We pray for those in harms’s way, for those who will be protecting them, and helping in the aftermath of the storm, as well as for churches and believers who will be given unusual ministry opportunities over the next few weeks.
As I have watched social media for the last few days, it seems that I have seen more pictures of rainbows than usual. These pictures are accompanied by reminders of God’s promise to Noah that “the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (Gen 9:15) That’s a good reminder for us in days like this. God has not forgotten us, and His mercy will protect us.
I can imagine that Noah, every time he saw a rainbow from that day forward, quickly remembered God’s promise after the storm. He was probably also reminded of the storm itself, and all that he and his family endured in the process. But Noah’s rainbow isn’t the only one in Scripture.
Ezekiel, too, saw a rainbow. In his case, he was in Babylon, exiled in captivity with the rest of his people. While he was there he saw a storm unfold out of the north; a whirlwind, “a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself.” And in the middle of that storm, with all of it’s incredible sights, there was a rainbow, and the very presence of the glory of God (Ezek. 1:28). Storms come. Jerusalem was about to fall. Things were bleak for Israel, but the Lord was still there. He is there in your storm, too.
Finally, John, the beloved disciple and faithful apostle described the rainbow that he saw around the very throne of God in Revelation 4. Out of that throne came thunder and lightening, foreshadowing the storm of God’s judgement that was about to fall upon the earth. Those days are still yet to come. And between here and then we will probably experience some more storms of our own. Isn’t it comforting to know – even before we find ourselves in the midst of the storm – that God is in control, seated on His throne, sovereign over all creation?
So the next time you see a rainbow, take a moment to thank the Lord for His presence and purposes before, during and after the storm!