Reclaiming the rainbow, our promise from God

I’m writing a book at the moment and I have a working title, however over the last couple of days I feel like God has been saying to me call it “Reclaiming the Rainbow”.

In Genesis God promised never to destroy the earth by flood for the judgment of sin and he sent the rainbow as a symbol. The rainbow shows more than that though. It shows God’s glory and His faithfulness, it reflects God’s glory, the radiance of his beauty, holiness, and perfection.

Genesis 9:11-17 – I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood.  The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise.

I was thinking about this title and it threw up some interesting reflections.  Yes, I do believe we need to reclaim the rainbow for God, as in we need to reclaim his laws, his teaching and his design for human sexuality.  But I also believe that God cleverly stays close to those communities who need his love and is the rainbow symbol a subtle way of showing that God is close and able to love this community the same way as any other?  So do we need to reclaim the rainbow or did it ever go out of God’s possession in the first place?

RECLAIMING THE RAINBOW

Reclaiming the rainbow, our promise from God, a promise made to every living creature, a symbol of God’s glory and faithfulness, reminding us of his greatness, his capacity to love, to forgive, his desire that we should live, his hunger for all to be saved, a reflection of the radiance of his beauty, the rainbow an image of his holiness, his utter perfection, a promise never to destroy for the judgment of sin, a promise that comes from within his heart, his love for us so immense, his sorrow for that loss intense, God’s symbol increasingly recognised by mankind as a symbol of homosexual sin, a flag of pride, held high,  God’s symbol a promise to all mankind and it’s kind of ironic that those who have rejected him have chosen this design as a sign for their movement, and then I get it, God’s staying close to the ones whom he loves, for he loved the outcasts and the sinners, he wasn’t all about saints and winners, so as that flag flies above their rallies, God’s really saying I will forgive, I will love you unconditionally, I will always be there for you and when you need me I’ll be there, not a God of anger but a God of love, not a God of unforgiveness but a God who wipes the slate clean when any one sinner turns to him, so as that rainbow flies in the sky, I see that it has been reclaimed by Jesus who died so all could be saved.

His love eternally captured in that rainbow.

One thing that has kind of niggled me is the use of the rainbow symbol by the LGBT community.  A small niggle but nevertheless for me it has been an irritation, probably because of where I have come from and a misplaced understanding that the rainbow is a sign from God for the righteous. In Genesis 9:12-17 it says:

 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:  I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  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. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”  So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

But today when reading this I got a different perspective, the rainbow is not for the righteous only.  It is a sign from God that no matter what we do he will never again wipe us out.  That’s kind of important to know, God looks on us and no matter what we do he is still willing to give us a chance to see the error of our ways for ourselves, he will not just wipe us out for our sins, he’s a patient God and allows us to make our own decisions.  So next time I see a rainbow flag waved or used by the LGBT community I’m going to remember that it shows us God loves all of us and is willing to walk with us and keep talking to us until we at last notice him, listen, change our hearts and start walking with him.  After all, I was once one of those who could so easily have been wiped out in God’s wrath if not for his covenant, symbolised by that rainbow.

RAINBOW

A rainbow placed in the clouds, a sign of God’s promise, a promise for all, not just the righteous but those who have fallen, for those in the storm, a reminder that this storm will not last forever, a sign that there is something better, a love letter from God stating that his love is love no matter where you have been, no matter what you have done he has seen who you can become, your true colours can shine through, he doesn’t want you to miss out, this little splash of colour showing you that you do matter, the greater the storm the brighter the rainbow, God is not willing to let you go, his love eternally captured in that rainbow.

God’s promises to me, more than a rainbow filled sky

God has made so many promises to us in his word, and he keeps every single one of them.  I was thinking about this today, like when I make a promise, I don’t always keep it or if I do I might half keep it or do it half-heartedly, yet God isn’t like that he promises us such fantastic and great things and then he delivers.  He does this cos he loves me and today I am claiming those promises and I am making a giant step forwards in my life, the past is history….. forgiveness required, moving forward required and yes that is my Lent promise to me today, I am giving up looking backwards and concentrating solely on looking forwards…

These promises are just some that mean so much to me..

Ezekiel 36:26- I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws

Romans 8: 1-2 – Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!

Psalm 34:7 – The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them

Psalm 91:14-15 -For the Lord says, “Because he loves me, I will rescue him; I will make him great because he trusts in my name. When he calls on me, I will answer; I will be with him in trouble and rescue him and honour him

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

GOD’S PROMISES                                                     

God’s promises to me, more than a rainbow filled sky, I fly like an eagle soaring above the storms receiving God’s promises, giving myself permission to accept his covenant of love, to heal and progress, no longer digressing, no longer diverted by mistakes of the past, no longer clinging to my failures for fear of exposure, releasing my anxiety to the Lord and saying once and for all there is no condemnation, my past just a story, history, it’s done, it is finished and the inspired word of God is my defence against enemy lies, temptation surrounds but so does God, his word a light to my path, he has taken my stony, stubborn heart, instead of a rock he’s given me a gem, my human heart replaced by the immortal heart of Christ, the light of the world who guards me as I honour him, as I cry out his name he rescues me from danger, his armies are by my side, no mountain too high, no ocean too wide, and the Lord himself watches over me, God has a firm grip and will never let go carrying me through every storm, upholding me with his righteous right hand and I stand up to the enemy, resist his lies, submit my life to God who protects and sustains me, he makes the enemy flee from my presence, I have found acceptance, a place where I can be present with no fear of condemnation, no anxious thoughts, no shame or blame, no longer chasing rainbows, not broken but beautiful, acceptable in God’s sight, picking up the pieces and making them right.

Rainbows never fail to make me smile..

Talking to a friend in church yesterday, and after the heavy rain of the last few days we spoke about rainbows and God’s promise, which is one promise I always thought about when I saw a rainbow even when I was so far from God in my life.

I had written this poem a few weeks before that conversation…

COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW

Have you ever seen a rainbow and failed to smile?  When God made rainbows he sure did it in style! The multi-coloured arc of pure brilliance reflecting the magnificence of his promise, never again to wipe out all human existence, despite our resistance to his teachings, his love is over reaching.

When you see a rainbow, does your heart soar, your voice roar approval at this spectacle? Our God is dependable, indispensable, incredible, bringing colour to our world.  Colours hurled into the heavens creating a perfect, graphic illustration of his eternal love for us his children.

Next time you see a rainbow, reflect on its purpose, then ponder a world without colour, a duller, drab place where we would never see his face.  Praise God for the colour he’s put into your life, praise him the light of the world for turning your grey to vivid day and your night to vibrant light.