The rainbow has come full circle. In the midst of a pandemic – one in which even many Christians struggle to avoid engaging in unrestrained catastrophism – we are reminded that the Lord has promised never to destroy all humankind again. The closest we will ever come to such disaster is when the Lord himself returns to judge the living and the dead. But even then, those who belong to Christ will be kept safe in him.
One of the interesting things that has come about as a result of the coronavirus pandemic is the recovery of the rainbow. Until very recently, the rainbow was always understood as a reminder of the Noahic covenant and that promise from God that he would never again destroy all life on the earth as he did in the Great Flood. Obviously, rainbows existed before the flood – it’s not as if God invented the refraction of light through water droplets at that very moment – but they were imbued with a special significance from that time forward.
But in more recent years, the rainbow has become (somewhat ironically) a symbol of something else altogether. No longer was it an upturned bow aiming in judgement away from his creation and directed at the heart of Heaven.