I took this picture of a rainbow during a cruise on Glacier Bay in Alaska a year and a half ago. I think I've seen only one rainbow since that time. Do you see rainbows very often?
I'm always so excited when I see a rainbow. Not only are they a beautiful phenomena, but they also represent a wonderful promise God made to His children in the ancient past. In Genesis 9:13, God says, "I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth." In that instance, God was promising Noah and his descendants that He would never again destroy the earth by a flood.
Three other times Holy Scripture speaks of a rainbow. Twice, it refers to the rainbow surrounding the throne of God. Both Ezekiel and John saw this glorious rainbow in the visions God gave to them of things in heaven (Ez 1:26-28 & Rev 4:3).
Since the first sign of the rainbow at the dawn of a new world (after the flood), it has symbolized God's mercy. When Ezekiel and John saw God's holy throne of judgment wrapped up in a rainbow, they were encouraged, because they realized, God's judgment to His children is always wrapped in mercy.
The final appearance of a rainbow in the Bible is a prophetic vision in Revelation 10, when John saw an angel "...robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head..." This angel will make his appearance during the tribulation. The fact that the angel's head is wreathed in a rainbow indicates mercy in some form.
"For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which He confirmed to them by oath" Deuteronomy 4:31.
And so, rainbows should thrill our soul, because they are a reminder of our Lord's great, unfailing mercy to us. "Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old" Psalm 25:6. And the verse that reminds us of the two visions: "Mercy triumphs over judgment" James 2:13.
My new 2016 calendar begins the month of January with this inspiring quote: "Count your rainbows - not your thunderstorms." God is good and His mercy endures forever. Praise the Lord - and thank you, O Father, for the beauty, wonder and promise of the rainbow.
Photo of stained glass window is in a church in Fredericksburg, Texas.