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…
The bow, which cheers us in the first pages of our Bible, shines brightly to the last. We read in the Revelation that John was in the Spirit; a door was opened before him in heaven; and, behold, a throne was set. But what encircled it? The rainbow (Revelation 4:3; Revelation 10:1). Thus in the fullest blaze of the Gospel, the bow continued the chosen emblem of the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ. Let a few cases from the diary of experience illustrate this. In our journey through the wilderness, the horizon is often obscured by storms like these; terrors of conscience — absence of peace — harassing perplexities — crushing burdens of difficulties. But from behind these dusky curtains, the bow strides forth in its strength. It is indeed a cheerless day, when errors of conscience pour down pitiless peltings. Spectres of past sins start up. A grim array of bygone iniquities burst their tombs; and each terrifies by hideous form, and each points to eternal death as its due. The light of life seems excluded by She dread, Can there be hope, when sins have been so many and so grievous, and against the clearest knowledge, and after such tender pardons, and such healings of mercy? Wild is this tempest's roar; but in its midst faith can still look upwards, and see Jesus with outstretched arms before the throne of God. There is a rainbow upon His head, and the bright colours write, "Father, forgive them." "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." The darkness vanishes, and clear joy returns. Absence of peace, too, is a heavy cloud. Many a cross of spiritual distress lies in the believer's path. Today he may recline joyously on the sunny slopes of the Gospel; tomorrow the thunders of Sinai affright. Today David sits high at the banquet of the king; tomorrow he is an outcast in the cave of Adullam. But in these dreary hours the gladdening bow, which crowns the Redeemer's head, will suddenly appear. In letters of light the truth is emblazoned, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever." "I change not; therefore are ye not consumed." "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Again the darkness vanishes, and clear joy returns. Perplexities are often as a mass of clouds. The pilgrim would climb the hill of Zion, but impassable rocks are on either side: the sea is in the front; the Egyptians in the rear. He sighs, as the lepers of Samaria, "If we say, we will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit still here, we die also" (2 Kings 7:4). He is in the straits of David. The enemy has left him desolate; his friends are ready to stone him (1 Samuel 30:6). But he looks aloft to Jesus, and the bow is bright. The "faithful and true Witness" cheers him onward: "This is the way, walk in it." "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shelf go, I will guide thee with Mine eye." So, also, burdens of difficulties often oppress. The believer is ready to sink beneath the weight. Moses felt this when he said, "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel?" But a bow was in the cloud, and it sparkled with the promise, "Certainly I will be with thee." He went and prospered. The women on the way to the sepulchre were in gloom: "Who," said they, "will roll us away the stone?" But a bow was in the cloud. Hoping against hope, they advanced, and the stone was gone. Paul trembled when he was to stand alone before the tyrant and his court. But a bow was in the cloud, and he took courage: "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me. Notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion."
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: