Driving out of Hell’s Canyon (of all places) the other day our fishing party came upon this stunning scene in the foothills above.
The digital photo hardly does justice to the impact upon the eyewitness.
Immediately I remembered the account in Genesis 9 of God’s covenant promise to Noah, following the great flood, never again to destroy the world by water.
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
I thanked the Lord quietly for that most certain promise.
Upon returning to Central Florida I got to thinking about that picture I took and this text of Scripture and did a little more digging. Turns out the rainbow image, a thing of stunning beauty to be sure, shows up again on the other end of the Bible in Rev. 4:1-3.
After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.
Spurgeon made the connection for me by raising a question:
Is it straining the allegory, is it carrying it too far, if I close this spiritualizing by observing that the very same security which God then gave to Noah and his descendants is that security under which we stand? He gave them a Covenant—a Covenant embellished with a Divine symbol and ratified with His own signature written out in all the colors of beauty. We, too, stand under a Covenant which has its own faithful witness in Heaven, more transcendently illustrious and beautiful than the rainbow—the Person of Christ Jesus our Lord.
So the one covenant of unsurpassed beauty points to another of even greater significance, the New Covenant of Christ and His shed blood which seals the promise that we shall never perish but live forever.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.