Welcome to the ninth stage of our journey from Good Friday to Easter Sunday: When you see a rainbow, remember there is love, eternal love, the love of God.
Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18
The Lord said to Noah, “Go into the boat with your whole family; I have found that you are the only one in all the world who does what is right. 2 Take with you seven pairs of each kind of ritually clean animal, but only one pair of each kind of unclean animal. 3 Take also seven pairs of each kind of bird. Do this so that every kind of animal and bird will be kept alive to reproduce again on the earth. 4 Seven days from now I am going to send rain that will fall for forty days and nights, in order to destroy all the living beings that I have made.” 5 And Noah did everything that the Lord commanded. …
11 When Noah was six hundred years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month all the outlets of the vast body of water beneath the earth burst open, all the floodgates of the sky were opened, 12 and rain fell on the earth for forty days and nights. 13 On that same day Noah and his wife went into the boat with their three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives. 14 With them went every kind of animal, domestic and wild, large and small, and every kind of bird. 15 A male and a female of each kind of living being went into the boat with Noah, 16 as God had commanded. Then the Lord shut the door behind Noah. 17 The flood continued for forty days, and the water became deep enough for the boat to float. 18 The water became deeper, and the boat drifted on the surface.
6 After forty days Noah opened a window 7 and sent out a raven. It did not come back, but kept flying around until the water was completely gone. 8 Meanwhile, Noah sent out a dove to see if the water had gone down, 9 but since the water still covered all the land, the dove did not find a place to light. It flew back to the boat, and Noah reached out and took it in. 10 He waited another seven days and sent out the dove again. 11 It returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. So Noah knew that the water had gone down. 12 Then he waited another seven days and sent out the dove once more; this time it did not come back. 13 When Noah was 601 years old, on the first day of the first month, the water was gone. Noah removed the covering of the boat, looked around, and saw that the ground was getting dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry. 15 God said to Noah, 16 “Go out of the boat with your wife, your sons, and their wives. 17 Take all the birds and animals out with you, so that they may reproduce and spread over all the earth.” 18 So Noah went out of the boat with his wife, his sons, and their wives.
8 God said to Noah and his sons, 9 “I am now making my covenant with you and with your descendants, 10 and with all living beings—all birds and all animals—everything that came out of the boat with you. 11 With these words I make my covenant with you: I promise that never again will all living beings be destroyed by a flood; never again will a flood destroy the earth. 12 As a sign of this everlasting covenant which I am making with you and with all living beings, 13 I am putting my bow in the clouds. It will be the sign of my covenant with the world.
Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society
|When you see a rainbow, remember there is love, eternal love, the love of God.|
Here, we pick up on the words of Genesis 7:16 – ‘the Lord closed the door behind them’. What was going on outside of the ark is contrasted with the haven of salvation inside the ark. What was it that made the ark a place of salvation? – The Lord. What is it that makes Jesus Christ the Source of our salvation? – God has given Him the Name that is above every name, the Name of our salvation (Philippians 2:9-11; Acts 4:12). From the ark, we learn of (a) the one way of salvation – The ark had only one door. Jesus is ‘the Door’ which leads to salvation (John 10:9); (b) the eternal security of salvation – All were safe inside the ark. In Christ there is eternal security (John 10:28); (c) the absolute necessity of salvation – Outside of the ark, there was certain death. Refusal to come to Christ for salvation leads to judgment: ‘How shall we escape…?’(Hebrews 2:3).Following the flood, we have this simple yet striking declaration: ‘the ground was dry’ (Genesis 8:13). Safe from judgment! This is the message which comes to us from the Cross: ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). The judgment has fallen upon Christ. We are no longer swept away in the judgment. We can stand on solid ground: ‘On Christ the solid Rock I stand’ (Church Hymnary, 411). He is our Support in ‘the whelming flood’. God said to Noah, ‘Come out of the ship’ (Genesis 8:15). We are in Christ. He is the Source of our salvation. God has brought us into Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30). He does not bring us into Christ solely for our own benefit. We are sent out to be fruitful (Genesis 8:17; John 15:16). We are to ‘abide in Christ’. This is the way of fruitfulness (John 15:4-5). We are not sent out alone. Strengthened in ‘the ship’ (in Christ), we step out with Christ and for Him.‘When you see a rainbow, remember God is love’. The rainbow reminds us of the gracious promise of God (Genesis 9:13-15). If the love of God is revealed in the rainbow, it is more fully revealed in the Cross: ‘We sing the praise of Him who died, of Him who died upon the Cross… upon the Cross we see in shining letters. ‘God is love’, He bears our sins upon the tree. He brings us mercy from above’. When we read the Old Testament stories, we must learn to see their place within the fuller Story, the Story of God’s salvation: ‘I will sing the wondrous Story of the Christ who died for me’. This is the greatest Story of all – ‘the Story of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love,… the Story of wonderful redemption, God’s remedy for sin’. ‘This is our Story. This is our Song, praising our Saviour all the day long’. This is ‘the Story to tell to the nations’ (Church Hymnary, 258, 381, 132; Mission Praise, 59, 744).
Watch out for the next stage of our journey from Good Friday to Easter Sunday: Be still and know that there is love, eternal love, the love of God.