An Emerald Rainbow
Revelation 4:2-5
And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.…


1. Let us see in what respects the rainbow serves as an illustration of the covenant, and first — the rainbow is the child of the cloud and the sun. No sooner did man fall, and consequently the cloud gather, than the light which had been shining from before all time flew apace, and darting through the gloom, kissed with its golden rays the threatening cloud. In a moment there was a heavenly transformation, a belt of light encircled the cloud in the shape of that sweet promise given to our parents, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head."

2. Mercy met misery, and the result was the covenant of grace. Man's depravity forms the dark background that throws up in glorious contrast the brightness of God's grace, but the covenant rests on other foundations. It is founded on the purposes of God, and although his sweet engagements are for man, they rest not on man; it is a covenant of "I will" and "thou shalt."

3. Again, the rainbow is an emblem of reconciliation and security. It was so to Noah. God has said, "I will look upon the bow"; well, then, do you look upon it too, for in that you are reconciled to Him with a reconciliation that He has declared shall never be broken.

4. The rainbow was God's handiwork. "I do set My bow in the cloud." So with the everlasting covenant of grace, from first to last it is God's.

(1) It is His in conception.

(2) It is His in provision. All that was necessary for its accomplishment has been provided by the same One who sketched the marvellous plan.

(3) It is His also in execution. The power that convinces — the grace that draws — the faith that accepts — the peace that follows — the security that abides, are all, all of God.

5. This rainbow never melts.

II. ITS POSITION. Round about the throne.

1. May not the fact of the rainbow being all round the throne teach that God in all His persons is included in the covenant of grace? It is a blessed truth that it is so. The covenant embraces the whole Trinity — not one of the Persons is omitted. The bow encircles the whole throne. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost all have their glorious part in the salvation of man by grace.

2. Being round the throne, it was always in view. I speak with reverence, but it was impossible for Him who sat upon the throne not to behold the rainbow — it was around Him on every side; its emerald hue would be ever attracting attention. John only saw Him who was like jasper through the bow, and He only looked upon John through the same hallowed medium. God only looks upon His people as they are in covenant relationship with himself.

3. As the rainbow was all round the throne, it follows that there is no coming unto God but through it. Sinner, wouldst thou be saved? Then thou must be saved by grace.

(A. G. Brown.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

WEB: Immediately I was in the Spirit. Behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting on the throne

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