Bristol (England)-based wildlife filmmaker Sam Rowley, 25, captured this stunning image of a circular rainbow with his drone during a camping trip near Invergarry in Scotland, the United Kingdom on 21 August.  A circular rainbow is known as a “glory.”

The rainbow is a beautiful God-designed natural phenomenon.  The first rainbow was seen by Noah and his family.

Genesis 9:13-15 “I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the 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…”

God’s Faithfulness

Every time we see a rainbow (more than likely some portion of a full circle) it should remind us of several things.  First it should remind us of God’s faithfulness.  For over 4,300 years, God has kept His covenant (promise) with Noah.  He has and never will send a worldwide flood again.  This is one reason among several why we know that Noah’s flood was global and not just local or regional as progressive creationists claim.  Since we have had many local/regional floods over the course of history, that would make God a liar if Noah’s flood was not global.  Another obvious reason is that God wouldn’t have had Noah go to all the trouble of building a huge boat, the Ark, if the flood was not global.  He would have simply told Noah to move to the next valley or region.  Ultimately, we should take God’s Word for what it says – “all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered …” (Genesis 7:19) , “And all flesh died that moved on the earth (land): birds and cattle and beasts … and every man” (Genesis 7:21).  I don’t think God could have said it more clearly.

God’s Glory

The second thing that a rainbow should remind us of is God’s glory – it’s more than coincidence that the circular rainbow is called a “glory.”  There are two biblical references to a glory, a circular rainbow.  In the respective visions of the prophet Ezekial and the apostle John, the glories surrounded the glorious throne of God.

Ezekial 1:26-28 And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne … with the appearance of a man high above it.  Also … I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around.  Like the appearance of a rainbow … all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.  So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.

Revelation 4:2,3 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.  And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.

Not only the heavens, but all of creation declares God’s glory – from the tiniest animal to the rainbow, to the majesty of a supernova, God’s glory is seen (Psalm 19:1, Romans 1:20-23).

God’s Mercy in the Midst of Judgment (His Justice)

The third thing that a rainbow should remind us of is God’s mercy in the midst of His judgment.  We only see a rainbow when the sun is shining (somewhere nearby).  That’s the physical reality of a rainbow.  Often it is seen after a rainstorm.  God showed His mercy to Noah and future generations by preserving him through a horrendous global catastrophic judgment of wicked mankind.  When Jesus returns to earth in judgment and to set up His millennial kingdom, He says people will be oblivious to His coming worldwide judgment, just as in Noah’s day.  “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark” (Matthew 24:38).

God’s Gospel – a fresh start

Finally, the rainbow should remind us of the Gospel.  God brought Noah and his family through the Flood judgment and gave them a fresh start in a new world.  In the same way, God provides us sinners the opportunity through Christ to escape judgment and to lead a new life in Him.  As Christians, we are hidden in God with Christ (Colossians 3:3). We are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) with a good conscience (1 Peter 3:20-22). So, the next time you see a rainbow, think of God’s faithfulness, His glory, His mercy in the midst of His judgment, and His Gospel giving us a fresh start.  We certainly serve an awesome God.

Jack Snyder