Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.”
Genesis 9:8-10, NRSV
There are many examples of God’s covenant with us in the Bible. In its simplest definition, a covenant is a promise between two parties that is binding by either a verbal or symbolic oath.
We all know the story of Noah, the story of a man who built an ark and took every kind of animal and plant aboard. A flood of water came on the earth; a purging baptism. Only Noah, his family and the animals on the ark survived.
It could be said of Noah that he endured. He endured the 40 days of rain, the 10 months it took for the water to recede and the months it took for the earth to dry. He weathered the storm. When we go through difficult times, when we feel we are being tested, if we hold on to our trust in God, we will see the full effect of God’s grace, mercy and love.
Noah also obeyed. He did what God told him in spite of everything. He took those animals and plants on board. How did he feed all those animals for such a long period? It had to be with God’s help. God’s help is available to us as we sail through the storms of life as well. And He gives us a visible sign of His promise. It is a reminder of God’s promise to us and our promise to obey.
The visible sign of God’s promise is a rainbow. The thing about a rainbow is that it is born out of the rain as well as the sunshine. Both must be present for the colorful beauty to burst forth. Life is a combination of rain and sunshine. Together they make something beautiful. We all go through periods in our lives when there is rain and sunshine or a combination of both. Yet do not forget that whatever the weather, God promises to be with you always, until the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20