And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.…
I. LET US VIEW THE NATURE, AND SCRIPTURAL HISTORY, OF THE RAINBOW.
II. THE RAINBOW IS PRESENTED TO OUR NOTICE AS CONNECTED WITH THE MOST SPLENDID REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DIVINE GLORY. There are three instances of this in the Scriptures.
1. The first is Ezekiel 1:28. Here is an evident reference to Jehovah, as governing all things in the person of His Son, of which mention is made in ver. 26 as having the appearance of a man. And it is in and through Christ that Jehovah treats with mankind, and by whom He directs and upholds all things both in heaven and earth.
2. The second instance is our text, where the Godhead, high and lifted up on His holy throne, and surrounded by the worshipping hosts, is represented as encircled with "a rainbow, in sight like unto an emerald." This evidently intimates the gracious connection subsisting between God and man; and that however elevated and glorious He may be, yet His grandeur and majesty are made to act in blessed concert with the arrangements of grace.
3. The last representation of the rainbow is Revelation 10:1, where we are taught that however Jehovah may step forth, arrayed in garments of terror, or however black the dispensations of His providence may appear, yet that His head is ever adorned with the rainbow of grace, and that as such He will ever be recognised by all those who love and put their trust in Him; that while He is the destroyer of His impenitent enemies, He is the unchanging friend and consolation of His people.
III. A STRIKING SYMBOL OF GOD'S GRACIOUS REGARDS TO OUR FALLEN WORLD.
1. The rainbow is turned up towards heaven — is unstrung — and without arrows. And here we have a representation, or symbol, of God's being in a state of perfect reconciliation to our world.
2. In the rainbow is exhibited the union of the various prismatic colours. A beautiful symbol of the harmony of the Divine perfections in the economy of Divine grace.
3. The rainbow appears to reach the heavens. Symbolical of the origin of all the blessings of grace.
4. The rainbow seems to unite both heaven and earth. And this union is truly effected in the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.
5. The rainbow is all God's work. Man has no part in making it. So with respect to our salvation; all is of God from first to last.
6. This rainbow is said to be "round about the throne" of God, indicating that all His attributes and perfections are under its influence.
7. This rainbow is likened to an "emerald." The meaning of which is, that the beautiful green colour of the emerald was the leading appearance it presented. So when the awakened sinner beholds the rigour of Divine justice in its most awful form, even at this moment the Divine compassion is most apparent, and demands the most implicit confidence.
8. The unmerited freeness of Divine mercy. So salvation is not of debt but of grace.
9. The unspeakable delight which the sight of this rainbow excited.
10. Look upon the rainbow, and praise Him that made it.
11. Let the mourning penitent look at the bow, and be encouraged.
12. Let the troubled soul look and be comforted.
(R. Simpson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.