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. IT IS LIKE OUR GOD TO GIVE THE CLOUD; IT IS ALSO LIKE HIM TO PLACE A BOW IN THE CLOUD (Lamentations 3:32).
1. The cloud turns our attention to God who sends it.
2. The bow kindles again our faith and love.
II. IN THE NATURE OF THINGS, WHERE THERE IS NO CLOUD THERE CAN BE NO BOW. The clouds of suffering make the promises precious.
III. THOUGH THE CLOUD MAY COVER AND OVERWHELM US, THE BOW SPANS THE ENTIRE CLOUD, AND REACHES ON BOTH SIDES, FROM EARTH TO HEAVEN.
IV. THOUGH WE PRIZE THE BOW AND FEAR THE CLOUD, THE REAL VALUE IS GENERALLY IN THE CLOUD RATHER THAN IN THE BOW, WHICH IS GIVEN TO HELP US TO ENDURE THE CLOUD.
V. THE CLOUD AND THE BOW BELONG NOT MERELY TO THE TIME WHEN WE ARE UNDER THEM, BUT TO ALL TIME. When Noah first saw the bow after the deluge, he would be delighted; many storms, and many bows, and many deliverances, would go to perfect faith and to establish love. So our trials and testings on Divine words and deliverances consolidate themselves into our life. and become part of our permanent manhood.
VI. THE CLOUD WILL FORCE ITSELF ON THE ATTENTION OF ALL WHO ARE UNDER IT, AND THE BOW MAY BE ADMIRED BY EVERY BEHOLDER, BUT THE REAL VALUE OF THE CLOUD AND THE TRUE BEAUTY OF THE BOW CAN ONLY BE KNOWN TO THOSE WHO CONTEMPLATE THEM IN THE LIGHT OF GOD.
1. Affliction, when it comes personally, will force the attention and thought of the most stoical. But suffering is not necessarily sanctifying, or devils might exceed the angels ill holiness.
2. Many from various causes, and with various motives, read the Scriptures. The true beauty of the Divine words can only be beheld in the light of Him who spake them.
(F. G. Marchant)
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: