Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Dorothy in Wizard of Oz broke into the song, “Somewhere over the rainbow” and Judy Garland, the actress, continued singing that song for the next 30 years, her signature song.  Dorothy who lived in the dry plains of Kansas knew the beauty of color from the rainbow and knew happiness must be over there.  Our fourth lesson is Genesis 8:1-9:17 and is known as the Noahic covenant.  God puts a rainbow in the sky to tell us of his love that goes with us through our trials and is unending.

         Noah exits the ark with family and animals to a new world.  His first act is to build an altar for worship and offers a sacrifice.  God who has not forgotten his creation sees and vows, “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood.  And never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done.”  He places a rainbow in the sky as a symbol of his vow.  It is noteworthy that it is one-sided and nothing is asked of humanity. 

         When we go through rough, trying times, how do we respond?  It must have been wonderful for Noah and family to get out of the confinement, the work, and the stench of the ark.  Questions must have filled his heart.  Amazingly his first response is worship for deliverance.  I wonder how many people received their stimulus checks and immediately put some aside for God, or did they run to store or pay bills?  Attitudes of gratitude so often do not always jump to our minds first.  Noah combines his gratitude with sacrifice, sharing that which God did not demand here at the beginning of our epic story.  We shall see this theme of combining sacrifice with forgiveness from sin and with gratitude.          So when we see the rainbow in the sky with all its colors we can think of the sunny times after the clouds and of God’s promise to not destroy the earth.  Let us take each color of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet – and name one item we can be thankful for.  Perhaps red is for strawberries!  But also remember how the rainbow promises an eternity that will look so colorful compared to the dry lands of now.  He said it and he will do it!  This epic will unfold to explain how.  Hallelujah!

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