A Bow in the Sky

Today’s Readings
Genesis 7-9
Matthew 3

rainbow

12 God said, “This is the symbol of the covenant that I am drawing up between me and you and every living thing with you, on behalf of every future generation. 13 I have placed my bow in the clouds; it will be the symbol of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember the covenant between me and you and every living being among all the creatures. Floodwaters will never again destroy all creatures. 16 The bow will be in the clouds, and upon seeing it I will remember the enduring covenant between God and every living being of all the earth’s creatures.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the symbol of the covenant that I have set up between me and all creatures on earth.” (Genesis 9:12-17, Common English Bible).

Good Evening Everyone…

I apologize that this post is coming late. It has been one of those days. I had good intentions all day and nothing seemed to move forward but here it is.

I also had someone ask me why I am focusing so much right now on the Old Testament lessons. Last year we spent the better part of the year looking at Matthew. With our current study series, there are other things on which we can focus. So, I am.

God said to Noah, “I have placed my bow in the sky.” I find it interesting that we interpret that to mean a rainbow. Some translations even say as much but most, including the Common English, NIV, New Revised Standard and the King James all use “bow,” which is the literal translation from the Hebrew.

I also find the picture of the rainbow above to be very interesting. It was taken from a drone and features a rainbow that is sideways, roughly 90 degrees off from how we are used to seeing a rainbow. It also makes me wonder if this might be how Noah saw the “bow” God placed in the sky. It looks, at least to me, a great deal more like a bow.

Let’s talk about the bow for a minute. A bow was the offensive weapon of Noah’s day. There would have been familiarity with the bow. It possibly was the first weapon humans created. It was the weapon of choice for armies everywhere.

Today we have come up with much more efficient and accurate ways that are the weapons of choice for armies. We might wish it to be different, but it isn’t. About the only people who still use bows are sports hunters.

When I think about this text I can’t help but think God is saying, “I am hanging up my bow. I am retiring my offensive weapon. Never again will I use it to knock humanity down.”

The other portion of this part of the story I find interesting is when God says, “When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I will remember the covenant between me and you and every living being among all the creatures.”

I find this interesting because I find it difficult to accept that an omnipotent God, an all-powerful God would need a reminder about anything. I believe that closer to the truth is, God is just being nice. God knew and still knows, it is us who need the reminders about our part of the covenant. People like us, all too often do forget. We need the reminder that God is still with us and we are still a covenant people.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With joy and thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s