Crossroads: Why Are There Rainbows?

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Genesis 9:8-17

Your Story

What promises has God made to you? What promises have you made to God?

My Story and the Bible Story

As a child, I always loved rainbows. I loved drawing them, and I really loved seeing them in the sky. There was something about all those different colors coming together after the rain that made me smile. As an adult, I still like rainbows. Seeing one unexpectedly still makes me smile. And it also reminds me of God’s promises. When we ask “why are there rainbows?”, we can talk about how a beam of sunlight hits a raindrop at a certain angle and produces the colors we see (because a beam of sunlight is actually made up of a bunch of different colors, but it’s not until it hits the water and bounces off at certain angles that we can see it), but there’s also another reason for rainbows. Genesis 9 explains what the rainbow means to God.

Read Genesis 9:8-17. From the NIV: Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

The rainbow is a reflection of sunlight through a raindrop but it’s also a reminder of God’s promises. After the flood, God promised Noah that there would never again be a flood that destroyed the earth. And God has kept God’s promise. Every time we see a rainbow, we can remember God’s promise for Noah and God’s promise to us: that a flood will never again destroy the earth. But when we see a rainbow, we can remember God’s other promises as well. God promises to never leave us. That rainbow is a reminder that God is there with us, that God remembers us. God promises to always love us. Seeing a rainbow can remind us of God’s great love for us.

Rainbows remind us of God’s promises to us. The next time you see a rainbow, remember that God loves you, God will never leave you, and the promise that God made to Noah all those years ago, that never again would flood waters destroy everything. We can trust God to keep God’s promises. And we can thank God for rainbows, because they help us to remember all that God has promised us.

Discussion

• As a family, talk about some of the promises God has made in the Bible. What are some of your favorite promises God has made?
• Talk about the promises you and your family have made to God. Talk about how important it is to follow through with those promises. Also talk about God’s grace and how even when we fail, God loves us no matter what.
• What are some things that can help you remember God’s promises?

Prayer

Thank God for all of God’s promises. Ask God for help in remembering that God is always there for us.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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