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

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