Tuesday, July 04, 2017

God hung up his bow

The LORD said, "I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth" (Gen. 9:13).

The Hebrew word used for bow is QESHET, which denotes the hunter's and warrior's weapon by which arrows are shot, at either prey or enemy. A hunter or warrior would hang up his bow after the job was done. The context the story of the great flood provides suggests we should be thinking of a warrior hanging up his bow after the battle had been fought. Scripture presents God as a warrior. Exodus 15:3 says, "The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name."

The LORD fought a battle against those who had rebelled against him despite the preaching of Noah. As 2 Peter 2:5 says, "...God did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others...."

Clouds are God's chariot which he rides in battle again his enemy. Isaiah 19:1 says, "The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt. The idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them." And Psalm 104:3, "He lays the beams of his upper chambers in the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he walks upon the wings of the wind..." 

The picture we are to see in our mind's eye as we read Genesis 9:13 is of a warrior coming home after the battle was done.  The chariot  is parked and the bow is hung up in the chariot. The battle is over. It is finished.  

Image result for rainbow
God hung his bow in his chariot
Fast forward in  your  mind  to  a  day  outside  the gates of Jerusalem on a hill called Golgotha. There hangs  a  man   whose   final   words   were,  "It  is finished."  The  battles  have  ceased and the war is over. We  are  in  a  time of peace. The weapons of war  have  been  remade  into implements for farm work  (see  Isaiah 2:4). We are  called to believe in this One, this Jesus, who said that it is all finished. All has been fulfilled. We are at peace with God, if we  believe  in   Jesus.  There is no peace for those who will  not  believe in  Jesus. Place your faith in him. 

God will wage one more battle against those who refuse to believe in Jesus. In fact, Jesus will be the warrior. In Revelation 1:7 we read that "... he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen." Jesus will come riding on a cloud and those who pierced his hands and feet by hanging him on a cross will wail in terror when they see him. This is certain, as is indicated by the word "Amen." All those guilty of crucifying Jesus from whichever tribe they may be will cry out in fear. That means that every human being, now dead or still alive, will have reason to be terrified, except for those who believe in Jesus. They need have no fear. As Jesus often said to those whom he loved and who loved him, "Do not fear."

Place your trust in Jesus, dear reader, and you will not need to fear. The LORD will never use his bow against you. 

We know that the bow the LORD hung up was a rainbow. As we learned in grade school, the rainbow has seven colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. In scripture seven is a number of completion. It is a number that often represents the goodness, grace, and kindness of God. 

Image result for lgbt flag
The six-coloured LGBT flag
Recently someone pointed out to me that the LGBT flag has six colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. I was reminded that the number 6 is significant in the Bible because it is the number of Man, the number of imperfection in man's work. It is a human number. It implies man's existence apart from God, without Christ.  

The LGBT flag is, at times, referred to as "The Rainbow Flag." The rainbow has been claimed by the LGBT movement as a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements. It is not a rainbow for a rainbow has seven colours. At best it is a bastardized rainbow. For the LGBT community to claim the rainbow for their movement is illegitimate. 

Perhaps it was an accident to create a flag of six colours and to name it a rainbow flag; perhaps it was intentional, an "in-your-face" to Christians and their God. I do not know. But what I know is that the rainbow is a symbol that belongs to the LORD and to those who repent of their sin and worship him.