God's Rainbow

Church Family:
Yesterday evening one of my favorite things happened. A summer evening thunderstorm powered through Hampstead and then headed off the coast with lightning and thunder revealing the majesty of God. The storm was small enough that the sun came out quickly and I watched God paint a rainbow across the back of the thundercloud as it moved off the coast.

I was thinking, why did God create a rainbow? To be honest, because it is the beginning of June, I remembered the prevailing and persistent message of our secular government and culture that the rainbow is to remind us to celebrate the sinful act of homosexuality and sexual rebellion. God’s creative work yesterday evening with an amazing rainbow was meant for the world to be reminded of God’s covenant promises of grace ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ. That promise was tarnished by the endless demands of the LGBTQ+ movement ringing in my ears that God’s rainbow must be redefined into something celebrating sin instead of what God intended its purpose to be.

So, let us take a moment and be reminded and enjoy a majestic summer rainbow by letting Scripture, not secular culture, tell us God’s purpose for His rainbow (Gen. 8:20-9:17). The rainbow is a sign of God’s redeeming grace and mercy. The Hebrew word translated “rainbow” is also accurately translated “bow" or "war bow" or "arrow" or "archer". By placing God’s bow in the sky, the Lord was symbolically aiming a weapon of judgment at Himself, His own wrath aimed at Himself.

Sinclair Ferguson most beautifully explains it this way:
“The rainbow, it is war bow: the bow of war, the bow of battle. It is a picture of God, after hostility has ended and He has established a new creation, flinging His bow of judgment into the skies as a reassurance to Noah. “Now that there is reconciliation, you may enjoy the peace that you have with Me. You can be sure that there will never again be this kind of judgment on the earth—until, of course, the cosmic final judgment of all at the end of time.” . . . If you think about the rainbow as God’s military bow transformed into an ornament of great beauty that hostility has ceased, and that there is no arrow in the bow, the only place the arrow could have gone was into His own heart.”

A beautiful summer rainbow is not for the celebration of sexual rebellion. Instead, God set aside the rainbow as the sign that He will preserve creation until the completion of the covenant of grace when He fully redeems His people from every nation through the work of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ took the final arrow of judgment from God’s “war bow” for you so that you will then live a life under the loving authority of Christ. This is the opposite message of the LGBTQ+ community which demands us to reject His authority. Celebrate God's rainbow as it declares "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We are saved by Christ from the wrath of God" (Rom. 5:8-9). Christ took the arrow of God’s judgment from His bow so that we don’t have to. Find a rainbow and enjoy God's promises it declares.

See you Sunday, worshipping Jesus Christ who took the arrow of our judgment: Steve

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