This year I am reading the entire Bible again (you should too), and yesterday the flood subsided. Afterward, our Lord tells Noah:
14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 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. 16 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 (Genesis 9:14-16, English Standard Version).
Considering God is an omniscient and omnipotent being, doesn’t it seem odd that He would need a rainbow to be reminded that he promised not to drown all of us again? We could say that this is a case where humans, naturally being human-centric, are using anthropomorphic language to describe God…but here the Most High is being directly quoted.
So, does God have to, like His creatures, tie a string around His finger to not forget things?
Of course not. 🙂
Our, loving gracious Father meets us where we are…and uses terminology we understand. Although how He does it (or that He even puts any effort forth to communicate with His rebellious creation) reflects so well on His character…reality is that we were created finite, and thus He has no choice but to communicate to us via finite words. We are imperfect; so is language.
I would suggest, like prayer, the rainbow isn’t for God, it is for us. We are so far removed from the flood (and so barraged with society telling us a worldwide deluge has to be a fairy tale) it has lost its meaning. Just imagine, however, you just saw all people, animals, etcetera (except those relatively few that joined you in the ark) die.
Then, you probably can understand just how important the rainbow was for them and the generations who continued to realize “but for the grace of God” it could happen again.
Speaking of remembering, recall the “why?” of the flood:
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.
12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth (Genesis 6:11-13).
Don’t verses 11 & 12 describe us too?
Remember that and maybe next time you see a rainbow it’ll mean more to you…as you thank the Lord that verse 13 no longer means we all will drown.