Tuesday, April 5, 2016

God’s Promise

When God makes a promise, you can count on it always being true! In today’s reading from Genesis, we hear God establish His eternal promise that He will never again destroy the Earth with a flood. He sealed His promise with a rainbow as a sign in the sky. When we hear the word “sign” in this context we have to understand what it means for our understanding of Scripture. “It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (Genesis 9.14-15)

When God gives us a sign, it serves to remind us of a promise that God has made, in this case, the promise that God would never again destroy the Earth with a flood. I once heard someone dismiss the rainbow as a sign from God by describing the scientific truth of how light is refracted and breaks into different colors. Unfortunately the person was unable to separate science from faith. It is true that rainbows are refracted light, but science is limited in its abilities. If you consider that rainbows are only visible after a rain storm, it seems completely feasible that we can be reminded of God’s promise.

There is no need to experience faith in conflict with science, just because we can understand how nature functions. It also doesn’t mean that God’s has not both made the promise AND created the rainbow. The rainbow doesn’t cause the rain to stop. It merely reminds us of God’s promise never to destroy the earth with a flood. So far God hasn’t destroyed the earth with a flood, because when God makes a promise, you can count on it always being true!

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