The Rainbow of the Covenant
‘He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth’.
The beloved disciple John, in vision, saw a throne set in Heaven and One sitting on it (Revelation 4:3). Ezekiel, in vision, gives a similar description of the same throne and upon it the appearance of a man (Ezekiel 1:16). It is the man Christ Jesus who is ‘set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens’ (Hebrews 8:1) in inconceivable glory.
John also saw a rainbow round about this throne. The rainbow in the visible heavens is an allusion to God’s covenant with Noah in which He promised that the earth would never again be destroyed by a flood (Genesis 9). It was a token of His faithfulness, linked to the promise He gave. God’s throne of grace, from which all the promises of His covenant come, is here surrounded by a rainbow. It is a sure token of His faithfulness to His own word; that word of grace and promise which is forever ‘settled in heaven’ (Psalm 119:89). Every word He speaks is sure and steadfast and cannot be undone. The covenant of grace, sealed with the blood of its Mediator, is a glorious security against the deluge of God’s wrath. It cannot fall on the soul resting by faith in Christ. God has brought all His grace in Christ into a covenant of grace and pledged His faithfulness to it.
In faithfulness to the covenant made with our Surety on the throne, God will not send the floods of His wrath upon His children. Knowing God’s covenant faithfulness means we can encourage ourselves in Him, and be fully persuaded that since His covenant He will not break, though the mountains depart and the hills be removed, He will never forget or forsake His redeemed! To do so would be to deny Himself and that is impossible. We are not to look on God’s covenant and promise as things in the past and therefore out of date. He is a promising God to His people now as much as when His first promise was spoken.
This spiritual rainbow about the throne was ’in sight like unto an emerald’ (Revelation 4:3). Its ever-green colour signifies that it is ever the same, by virtue of the faithfulness of the One sitting on the throne. ‘He will ever be mindful of His covenant’ (Psalm11:5). ‘He is faithful that promised’ (Hebrews 10:23).’ Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness’ (Isaiah 41:10). To plead these promises is to take hold of His covenant (Isaiah 56:4). As the natural rainbow assures us of showers on earth, so the spiritual rainbow gives the greatest assurance of the rain of the Spirit. ‘He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth’ (Hosea 6:3). The refreshing dew of the Spirit, the thirst-quenching rain of the dew of Heaven from our faithful God, will fall on the praying heart that remembers the rainbow of the covenant.
Rev Leslie Curran.