Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Sometime working in the flatbed yard can be interesting. Especially when it rains. If we are lucky, we might get the chance to witness a rainbow. This is especially neat when there is a double rainbow that is so intensely bright we can almost make out some of the tertiary colors. It really is something worth seeing, even if it means having to get soaked in the rain first.
However, the rainbow has become a symbol for a lot of things in modern times. As a child, I remember advertisements for Skittles, with the tagline “Taste the rainbow”. Some of us may even remember Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) sing about the “Rainbow Connection”. A very beautiful song, yet not very accurate. However, in the late 20th and early 21st century, the rainbow has become a symbol for something radically different. Specifically, it has become a symbol of tolerance and diversity, or more directly, homosexuality.
Lets back up a bit. What is a rainbow anyway? In scientific terms, it is the refraction of light through either water vapor or ice crystals. However, in like manner, it is also the effect of the refraction of light through a prism. Now we can discuss frequency and refraction angles, but that doesn’t mean that we really understand how it works. Quite simply put, we don’t. We never will. Even with all of our science, we don’t know why one color is one frequency while yet another color is of another frequency. Nor do we understand how refraction truly works. Simply put we never will. There is an upper limit to what science can explain. In some areas, we get there faster than in other areas.
Biblically speaking, the rainbow is something else entirely.In Genesis 9, starting in verse 11 we read “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.” 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: I have set my bow in the cloud, 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.” As is evident from the text, it is a sign of God’s promise to never flood the world again. However, stop and thing about this for a second. If it is a sign of God’s promise not to flood the world, then it is also a sign of something else. It is a sign of God’s wrath.
Wait! What? Wrath? Are you serious? Yes! From the time of Adam to the time of Noah, humanity had become quite depraved and sinful, much like today. I honestly don’t know whether things were worse then or now. However, God’s long suffering tolerance reached a point in which God was finally disgusted with humanity. Very few humans actually did what was right in God’s sight. In fact, the Bible only mentions two by name, Noah and Enoch. Enoch did not die in the flood, he was taken. Noah was instructed to build an ark for his family (seems God spared Noah’s family on account of Noah) and the animals that would go with him. We see this in Genesis chapter 6.
I am not interested in debating how many animals were on the ark. I can trust that within the various kinds, there was enough genetic variance to provide all the animals we are aware of today, along with many that have since gone extinct. The fact that I feel is important is that Noah and his family were granted salvation via the ark, which was built according to God’s plan. This is important to bear in mind.
Christ Jesus died upon the cross for our sins, and rose from the grave after three days. This was according to God’s plan as well. There is no escaping it. Just as the ark was form of salvation for Noah and his family, so too was Christ Jesus the means of salvation for all of humanity from enslavement to sin and Hell.
It is bad enough that some people insist upon behavior that the Bible calls sin. It is even worse that they insist upon being identified by their particular sin. However, when they try to take what is ultimately a symbol of God’s wrath and judgment, and attempt to use it to signify tolerance, they are risking eternal damnation. It has been said that unrepentant sin is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, and from which there is no salvation. To do die in unrepentant sin because of a vain insistence upon being identified by that sin and refusing to repent of it is to bring this judgment upon yourself.
I should probably mention that God’s promise is not to flood the Earth again. However, he doesn’t promise to never judge humanity again. In fact, he clearly defined to Moses what is and is not sin. He also was very specific about his judgment of sin. Additionally, in 2 Peter 3:7 it reads “But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” Yes, God plans to judge the world again, and it will be by fire this time.
Rainbows are pretty. They are fun to look at and even can be very impressive. However, they are also a sign of something important. It is a sign of God’s prior wrath and judgment of sin, and a reminder of his coming judgment of sin by fire. We may enjoy them when we see them, but we are foolish to take them to mean anything other than what God has declared them to mean. We really need to get away from this “rainbow dis-connection” and reconnect with what God has declared.
Knowing what rainbows mean does not stop me from enjoying them. Rather, they remind me of God’s judgment of his sin and also his promise to save those who trust and obey him. God’s final judgment of humanity will come, and possibly sooner than some may care for. However, for those who repent and trust in Christ Jesus, the rainbow is also God’s promise to put an end to sin.
Rainbows come and go. They are a product of the refraction of light through a prismatic medium. We may understand how refraction works, but we don’t fully know how it works. However, we know the God who does know perfectly how it works and it was he who started it. It is he who will judge us for our sins. I suppose you must decide for yourself if you want to trust a perfect God who will judge sin or imperfect humans who revel in sin. The choice is yours. As for me, I will serve the Lord.