Today’s reading begins with the completion of the story of the Great Flood and finishes up with the separation of Abram and Lot.
In Genesis 9, God makes a promise to Noah. Actually it’s not even a promise, it’s a covenant:
“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.”
I suppose that it makes me naive to believe that God literally made the science of the rainbow possible simply to make a covenant with Noah. God didn’t just make the covenant with Noah and move on. God created a phenomenon in the natural world as an everlasting reminder to every single person who has ever lived. Each and every time that God sees the rainbow, He’s reminded of the covenant that He made thousands of years ago between Him and the human race.
God made a covenant and He remembers it thousands of time per year. God doesn’t even put conditions on the gift. The covenant that He has made puts all of the burden on himself. He’s the only responsible party on the contract. If that doesn’t speak to the grace and mercy of God, I don’t know what would.