In the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, the eighth and ninth books of Genesis, the account of Noah describes how God made a covenant with all living creatures. At this point, Noah and his family members have already endured the journey on the ark and the flood waters have subsided. (If you aren’t familiar with the whole story of Noah, read Genesis 6, 7, 8, and 9.)
God uses a bow (or rainbow) in the clouds to communicate His everlasting covenant that the waters will never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. This is not only a covenant with Noah, his descendants, and all living creatures at that time. This is a covenant with all living creatures from that time to the present day.
The scripture says that when God brings clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, He will remember this covenant. That sounds like language to me. He is proclaiming/expressing/speaking His covenant with the elements that He puts in the skyscape. I also really like how it says that God brings the clouds and the bow over the earth. It is a reminder that God is the great artist, painting the sky every day and every night. His is omniscience; knowing and directing every gust of wind, every ice crystal in every cloud, and every ray of sun that breaks through each cloud.
Surely, God knows us and knows our hearts and wants to speak to each one of us every day and every night, and in every moment of our lives. Let’s listen.
Genesis 8:20-22 (ESV)
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse[a] the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
Genesis 9:1-17 (ESV)
1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.
6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image.
7 And you,[a] be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.”
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.”
Chapter 8 – a. Genesis 8:21 Or dishonor
Chapter 9 – a. Genesis 9:7 In Hebrew you is plural
Source: “The Book of Genesis – English Standard Version (ESV),” biblegateway.com, accessed August 19, 2015.