Quite a story about the rainbow, don’t you think?
I don’t mean the one about the pot of gold; I’m talking about the conversation with God after the Flood. All that destruction, all that loss of life, all that human agony. Left our Creator contemplating his punishment upon the creature. Soon into the reflection, the Maker decided that once was enough for that particular remedy and retribution for evil. “I will never again destroy the earth by water,” he vowed.
As he continues in Genesis Chapter Nine, God states that the rainbow will serve as a reminder to himself. “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.” He concludes by declaring that every time he sees it, it will remind him of his promise.
Now, I’m not intending to spark some theological debate about whether the Almighty needs reminders about his vows and promises. The idea of an all-powerful but possibly forgetful divinity might stir some slight discomfort among a certain sort of believers. The fact that he chose to share his vow and the significance of its heavenly marker suggests that it also stands as a reminder to those living in the lower view of clouds and storms and such.
In the aftermath and sometimes even during the storm, I often marvel at the beauty of the rainbow. Even it’s very forming tells us that whether in the midst or in the passing, the sun still shines. Light passing through rain creates the prismatic wonder. Which means there is still light from beyond the darkest clouds, above the fiercest storm. And that though cyclone and hurricane may wreak havoc and horrible devastation, it will never again be on the scale of the Genesis Flood.
Sometimes, in the midst of my marveling at the beauty of the rainbow, I also marvel at the beauty of the promise. I think how wonderful it is that the God of the Storm is also the God of Beauty, and the God of Promise. I find it comforting, reassuring, and revealing, that in the following of that great and terrible destruction, he chose to set a sign in the heavens that declares, “Here, this will remind both of us… all of us.”