"I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth." Genesis 9: 13 ESV
In recent times the rainbow (albeit with some different colors) has come to represent . . . freedom, love, pride, a new era, and, specifically, the LGBTQ movement. . . .
But the rainbow itself wasn’t designed to be a symbol of freedom, love, pride, or the LGBTQ movement.
God created this beautiful, colorful phenomenon and designated it as a sign of His covenant with Noah and his descendants forever. Sadly, people ignore what God intended the rainbow to represent and proudly wave rainbow-colored flags in defiance of God’s command and design for marriage.
Because of this, many Christians shy away from using the rainbow colors. But the rainbow was a symbol of God’s promises before the LGBTQ movement—and will continue to be after that movement has ended. As Christians, we need to take the rainbow back and teach our young people its true meaning.
1. What Does The Bible Say About The Rainbow?
It says that it is a symbol of God's promise never to destroy the earth again by flood.
"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.” — Genesis 9:11 ESV
God had just judged all of mankind with a flood.
"Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. ” — Genesis 6:11-13
2. What Does The Rainbow Represent?
It represents a biblical covenant of grace.
"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: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 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." — Genesis 9:12-15 ESV
The Bible reveals to us that the rainbow is a symbol of Christ.
"26 And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire;[a] and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. 27 And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.[b] 28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking" — Ezekiel 1:26-28 ESV
In the book of Revelations, John saw Christ clothed with a cloud and a rainbow on His head.
" At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald." — Revelations 4:2-3 ESV
3. What Does the Rainbow Remind Us Of?
That God is both just and merciful. We can’t save ourselves; our good works are like filthy rags to God in light of our sinfulness (Isaiah 64:6). So God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, to die on the Cross, taking our sin—including the sin of homosexual behavior—upon Himself.
But He didn’t stay dead. He rose from the grave, conquering death and sin, and He offers the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life to all who will believe. (Romans 10:9)
So the next time you see a rainbow, remember that God judges sin. He judged it with a global flood at the time of Noah. But He is merciful, and He made a covenant of grace with Noah and the animals that He would never again judge the world with a flood.
Not only that, but the rainbow, as a symbol of Christ, reminds us that He is the mediator between man and God and that those who receive the free gift of salvation are presented faultless before their Creator.
Taking Back The Rainbow
Now, we aren’t displaying the rainbow colors or “taking the rainbow back” because we hate gay people, like some people have accused us of. We desperately want lost people—people made in the image of God and deceived by a lie—to hear the truth that God judges sin but that He lovingly offers a free gift of salvation to all who will believe.
We want all people everywhere to experience the freedom and peace that comes through repenting of their sin and trusting in Christ.
We’d love to hear your stories! Let us know in the comments below.
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