March 2 Genesis 9:8-17
In our passage for today, God makes a covenant to all of creation, which comes right after an awful, tumultuous experience—the earth has just been completely flooded and everyone who wasn’t on the ark was destroyed.
How much worse can it get?!
However, we find a word of hope and comfort immediately following such an event. God recognizes that it was terrible and promises that it will never happen again. In addition, God says that there will be a sign, a “bow in the clouds,” to remind not only creation but God, as well.
“I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 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. 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.”
Does that seem a little unexpected to the story? It does for me! Scholars point out that this is a very anthropomorphic image of God; it helps us to see God in a more human-like way. I trust that the writers were intentional about including this—in order for us to see that God is making a promise that will not be broken and that God is promising, in a way, that God understands our need for assurance. Not only will the rainbow be a sign to us, but to God as well.
As we reflect on what it might mean to live a “defiant life,” perhaps we may find comfort in knowing that God understands what we need. Not only that, but along the way, we will recall the promises that God has made to us—promises to assure us of hope that is coming in the days ahead.
Lord, help us to trust that you remember the promises you have made to us.