“Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, ‘Behold, I establish My covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. I establish My covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set My bow in the cloud, 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.’ God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.'” (Genesis 9:8-17 ESV)
When my child was little, I spent a lot of time repeating important information to him. He needed to know my phone number, our address, the number to call for an ambulance or police. We said these things again and again together, so that he would never forget them.
Listen to how often God repeats Himself in this passage! He says again and again: “I am making a covenant … it’s with all of you, every living creature … I will never again destroy the earth by flood.” He says it so many times and in so many ways that you can tell He is trying to impress it on our hearts and brains forever. And just to make sure, He adds a sign: the rainbow. From now on, every time God sees it—every time we see it!—we will remember the promise that is our salvation.
God seems to be fond of this technique in other places, too. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life … Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved … Believe in God; believe also in Me … Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame” (John 3:16; Acts 16:31b; John 14:1b; Romans 10:11b).
And just as God gave us the rainbow, God has given us a sign also so that we can remember the love and forgiveness and absolute trustworthiness of the One who saves us. That sign is the cross—the cross on which Jesus suffered and died, breaking the power of death over us, and giving us life forever. And now that He has risen from the dead, we can be sure that He will keep His promise forever. Thanks be to God!
Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for giving us Your Son, Jesus, to be our Savior. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Reprinted with permission from Lutheran Hour Ministries
1. What “signs” do you use to remember important things in your life? Give examples.
2. Do you find it easy or hard to remember that God loves you and has become your Savior?
3. What practical steps could you take to keep this reality in the front of your mind?