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The First Rainbow

And God said: "This is the sign of the covenant
which I make between Me and you,
and every living creature that is with you,
for perpetual generations:
I set My rainbow in the cloud,
and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.

It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth,
that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud;
and I will remember My covenant
which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh;
the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
The rainbow shall be in the cloud,
and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant
between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."
And God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant
which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth."
Genesis 9:12-17

As we walk with the LORD daily, He will teach us many lessons through His works of creation. One of His greatest masterpieces is the formation of the rainbow. After a heavy storm, the lingering but nourishing rain droplets just stay for a little longer in the atmosphere. When the sun shines through this wall of moisture in the air, its light breaks out and refracts all the chromatic spectrum of the rainbow. The first refraction separates the sunlight into its component colours, and the second refraction increases the separation. The result is the amazing rainbow.

The first rainbow recorded in the Bible was after the Great Flood (Genesis 9:12-17). This arch of glorious colours in the sky serves as a sign of God's covenant with Noah and every living creature of the earth. This covenant was a promise by God to the world that it would never again be destroyed by a great flood.

Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day,
so was the appearance of the brightness all around it.
This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
Ezekiel 1:28

Even in times of great judgement, God will remember His great love. The rainbow is a sign of His glorious presence and peace. It is a reminder that His mercy and grace will finally triumph.

And He Who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.
Revelation 4:3

Last Wednesday (25 May 2005), there was a great storm in Kitami City. I guessed that was the outcome of a big fight between the bitter winter and the gentle spring. But as the storm stopped, I looked out of the window and saw a beautiful rainbow. Upon a closer look, one of the ends of the rainbow was just about 100 metres from my flat.

The next day, I showed the photos with a Japanese brother, Takeshi. He told me that he saw the rainbow too. And it was the first rainbow that he saw this year! This rainbow represented God's love for his family, especially his mum. She fell down and broke her hip bones while milking cows during the winter season. She is now almost completely recovered.

I remembered visiting her while she was recuperating in the hospital at Engaru last month, about 90 minutes away from Kitami by car. She was beaming with joy and gladness when she saw us in spite of her severe condition and pain. I have never seen a more radiant face of a patient who has just undergone a major surgery. With a heart of gratitude, she thanked us for visiting and praying for her. She is now back in her house, and is able to do some simple household chores. But no milking of cows for her till a later date.

Last week, we received a box of Japanese cookies from her. Special delivery. It was a gift of thanksgiving. Somehow, these cookies tasted exceptionally delicious as they were layered with appreciation and thankfulness. These are simple things in life. A box of cookies or strawberries. A bag of oranges or apples. Or just a card or an email. An angpow. A love offering. Somehow, we simply forget these gestures of gracefulness and thanksgiving.

I showed the same photos to another Japanese brother. He told me that he saw the rainbow too. Right now, he has just come out a great depression in his life. He was a school dropout, and he was recently fired by his boss. Rejected and despondent but somehow the love of God broke through. Yesterday, as we were walking around his neighbourhood, he told me that he wanted to treat me to a raimen meal someday. I know that His love never fails! Day by day, I am seeing little breakthroughs as I minister among these disillusioned and discouraged youths. Tensions are released. Forgiveness flows as bitterness melts.

Someone told us long ago that there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But I searched and found a pot of golden honey sweet love! It was more precious than gold! Amazing love! Amazing grace!

Let's take a moment now and bow our heads and pray. Just giving thanks to Him Who gives us strength to make it through another day!

Written On
31 May 2005