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Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, "As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth." 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: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 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. 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." 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."
A Bow in the Clouds
Symbols are important for us. For example, when we see a skull and cross bones on a bottle we know not to take a swig. But if it’s a succulent orange or a smiling cow or an oversized sweating pitcher with a cartoon face, well, that’s probably something that won’t throw us into convulsions. And that’s just a couple of examples. I think there may be some justification in saying our lives are governed by symbols. I mean, we stop when we see red and go when it turns to green and when it’s yellow, well, for some it means to start depressing the break while others take it as a sign to hit the gas. Tennis shoes with a swush means you might play like Jordan while one with four parallel lines means you probably won’t. And as every man knows, when red hearts and cupids start popping up, he’s now entering a relationship mine field that only a few survive. And I haven’t even talked about what comes to mind when we see a cross or two tablets or a crescent moon.
And even though it may mean different things to different people, God offered us a wonderful symbol of his love and protection. You see, God has given us a rainbow in the sky, a divine weapon that God transformed into a reminder that he’ll never again allow chaos to take over his creation. And for us, this is important, because it tells us that the stability and predictability on which we base all our decisions will always be a part of the created order. And that’s symbolized by a bow in the clouds. In fact, when you think about it, when it comes to things that are unstable and unpredictable, some of us just may be the exceptions from the rule.