Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Rainbow Prophecy

Mile log: 700

Rainbows. A reminder of the promise of God, that he will never again flood the earth. For years, that promise never really impressed me. It felt like an over-exaggerated, irrelevant comment of regret, like when I promised never to eat kumquat again, or if I promised never to bring questionable contraband into another country again. But the more I learn about the holiness and mercy of God, the more I am thankful that he reminds me of this promise the way he does.

The first time it rained, it didn't stop for 40 days. It was the full wrath of God, literally poured out on a wicked world that absolutely deserved it. After the flood, the world didn't change - Noah sinned, and his kids sinned, and his grandkids sinned... and all his descendants since then have sinned and are by nature objects of the wrath of the God who also hasn't changed - He is still just as holy, and still has just as much cause to wipe out generation after wicked, rebellious generation of people who will not and cannot match his holiness.

When I see a rainstorm end and a rainbow appear, I'm beginning to understand that it was a prophecy of Jesus. See, after the flood, the wrath of the Holy God still needed an outlet... He just promised that the world would not be it. So he stepped down and put on human flesh and died, taking the full force of his own wrath. He didn't deserve a drop of it, but it had to fall somewhere, and he'd already promised to spare his creation, so the only thing to do was put it on himself. The rainbow doesn't just remind me of the promise, but how the promise was fulfilled.

That's why the rainbow is so beautiful - it tells the gospel story: that Jesus took the flood of wrath we deserved and instead showered us with his mercy.  Selah.

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