Why the Rainbow


whytherainbow_ygfvykI have placed my rainbow in the clouds as a sign of my promise until the end of time, to you and to all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will be seen in the clouds, and I will remember my promise to you and to every being that never again will the floods come and destroy all life. For I will see the rainbow in the cloud and remember my eternal promise to every living being on the earth.”Genesis 9:13-17 (LB)

The Rainbow signified a cleansed realm for seeking God’s kingdom first that was newly available to man, and once again God asserted man’s responsibility for administrating earth with an accountability to Him.

First, God creates the rainbow and says that it is a token of a covenant between God and all flesh upon the earth. This is the first instance in Biblical history where the term “covenant” is applied to the relationship between God and an individual, as well as his descendants; and it is established in blood. Centuries later covenant love would cause God to give his own Son as a blood sacrifice for the sons of men.

The rainbow is obviously a figure designed to enable man to identify with God’s faultless memory. Calvin notes that it is introduced to remind man that God is ever faithful to His covenant engagements. The rainbow is there to assure us that at the end of every storm God held his covenant in remembrance. Each time we see a rainbow we ought to delight afresh in the faithfulness of our God.

Secondly, the rainbow represents the glory of the Lord. Ezekiel 1:28 (NKJV). Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. The glory of the Lord refers to God in all His fullness, especially as He interacts with man.

And instantly I was, in spirit, there in heaven and saw – oh, the glory of it! – a throne and someone sitting on it! Great bursts of light flashed forth from him as from a glittering diamond, or from a shining ruby, and a rainbow glowing like an emerald encircled his throne.    Revelation 4:2,3 (LB)

“I was in the spirit” denotes a state of heightened spiritual sensitivity. The one who sat on the throne is identified in verse 8 as God, who is described not in form, but in terms of brilliance and glory (see Ezekiel 1:16-28). Jasper is probably a diamond (see Revelation 21:11), suggesting purity or holiness.

Sardius is deep red, picturing the justice of God. Emerald is green, the dominant color in a rainbow, symbolizing mercy (Gen. 9:12-15).

The rainbow was the seal and token of the covenant of providence that God made with Noah and his posterity with him and is a fit emlem of the covenant of promise God has made with Christ as the head of the Church, and all his people in Him, an everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure.

The rainbow’s most prevailing color was a pleasant green to show the reviving and refreshing nature of the new covenant.

Therefore, when I see a rainbow, I see the opportunity to start over again. I hear God saying, “Forget the storms and failures of the past and look ahead to the brightness of my glory prepared for your life.”

And, for us, the multi-colors of the rainbow represent the blending of all races and ethnic backgrounds through Jesus’ precious blood forming one body that He calls His Church.

“Temple” simply means “the dwelling place of God.”

For these reasons we have elected to call this local body of believers “Rainbow Temple”.