And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you…
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE BOW APPEARS IN THE CLOUD.
1. God does not display the bow upon a blue and cloudless sky, but when there are clouds, and there is rain. The bow does not remove the clouds, but beautifies and illumines them. So the promises of God do not remove, but beautify and illumine, the darkness and mysteries of earth. The cloud of guilt is arched with the bow of pardon. The cloud of sorrow has the promise of support and relief; for bereavement, there shall be reunion; for cross bearing, crown wearing; for conflict, victory; for labour, rest; for pilgrimage, home. The cloud of mystery has the bow of providence arching it. The cloud of death has the bow of hope.
2. The bow can be seen only when the sun is shining. So the promises of God which arch the clouds of sin, sorrow, death, are produced by the light of the benign countenance of God, who is a sun and shield, and gives both grace and glory.
3. The bow can only be seen when the beholder looks up.
II. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE APPEARANCE OF THE BOW IN THE CLOUD.
1. To remind God of His covenant.
2. To remind man of his comfort.
(1) That God accepts human worship when associated with Divinely appointed sacrifice.
(2) That God is slow to anger.
(3) That God is great in power.
(4) That God is faithful to His promises.
(F. W. Brown.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: