Genesis 9:16
And whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of every kind that is on the earth."
The New Noachic Covenant EstablishedR.A. Redford Genesis 9:8-17
Everlasting CovenantW. Adamson.Genesis 9:12-17
God Looking At the RainbowG. Gilfillan.Genesis 9:12-17
God's Covenant and its TokenJ. C. Gray.Genesis 9:12-17
Lessons from the RainbowW. Adamson.Genesis 9:12-17
The Bow in the CloudHomilistGenesis 9:12-17
The Bow in the CloudS. Baring-Gould, M. A.Genesis 9:12-17
The Bow in the CloudF. G. MarchantGenesis 9:12-17
The Bow in the CloudThe Preacher's MonthlyGenesis 9:12-17
The Bow in the CloudF. W. Brown.Genesis 9:12-17
The Bow in the CloudThe Evangelical PreacherGenesis 9:12-17
The Bow in the CloudA. F. Barfield.Genesis 9:12-17
The Bow in the CloudM. Rainsford, B. A.Genesis 9:12-17
The Bow in the CloudDean Law.Genesis 9:12-17
The Bow of PromiseW. S. Smith, B. D.Genesis 9:12-17
The Bow of the CovenantG. Gilfillan.Genesis 9:12-17
The Covenant Connection Between the Cloud and the BowR. Newton, D. D.Genesis 9:12-17
The Covenant SignOld Testament AnecdotesGenesis 9:12-17
The Flood and the RainbowC. Kingsley, M. A.Genesis 9:12-17
The RainbowSpurgeon, Charles HaddonGenesis 9:12-17
The RainbowJ. N. Norton, D. D.Genesis 9:12-17
The RainbowC. Burton, LL. D.Genesis 9:12-17
The RainbowG. D. Boardman, D. D.Genesis 9:12-17
The Rainbow and its LessonsM. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.Genesis 9:12-17
The Rainbow Like God's PromisesA. P. Foster.Genesis 9:12-17
The Rainbow the Type of the CovenantE. B. Elliot, M. A.Genesis 9:12-17
The Sign of the CovenantJ. P. Lange, D. D.Genesis 9:12-17
The Token of the CovenantC. Bradley, M. A.Genesis 9:12-17
Was There a Rainbow BeforeJ. Parker, D. D.Genesis 9:12-17

with deep joy and yet with awe must Noah have looked around him on leaving the ark. On every side signs of the mighty destruction; the earth scarcely dried, and the busy throng of men (Luke 17:27) all gone. Yet signs of new life; the earth putting forth verdure, as though preparing for a new and happier chapter of history. His first recorded act was sacrifice - an acknowledgment that his preserved life was God's gift, a new profession of faith in him. Then God gave the promise that no such destruction should again befall the earth, and so ordered the sign that the rain-cloud which might excite the fear should bring with it the rainbow, the pledge of the covenant. But as Genesis 6:18 foreshadowed the Christian covenant (1 Peter 3:21) in its aspect of deliverance from destruction, the text points to the same in its beating on daily life and service. The Godward life and renewal of the will which the law could not produce (Romans 8:3) is made sure to believers through the constraining power of the love of Christ (cf. 1 John 3:3; Revelation 12:11). And if clouds should cause fear, and God's face be hidden, and the energy of dedication grow languid, we are reminded (Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:24). And in the vision of the glorified Church (Revelation 4:3) the rainbow again appears, pointing back to the early sign, connecting them as parts of one scheme, and visibly setting forth the glory of God in his mercy and grace (cf. Exodus 33:19; Exodus 34:6; John 1:14).

I. THE COVENANT WAS MADE WITH NOAH AND HIS SEED AS CHILDREN OF FAITH. They had believed in God's revealed way of salvation and entered the ark (cf. Numbers 21:8). The root of a Christian life is belief in a finished redemption (2 Corinthians 5:14; 1 John 5:11); not belief that the doctrine is true, but trust in the fact as the one ground of hope. Hast thou acted on God's call; entered the ark; trusted Christ; none else, nothing else? Waitest thou for something in thyself? Noah did not think of fitness when told to enter. God calleth thee as unfit (cf. 1 Timothy 1:15). Try to believe; make a real effort (cf. Matthew 15:28; Mark 9:23).

II. THE POWER OF A CHRISTIAN LIFE; FAITH AS A HABIT OF THE MIND. Look to the bow. "Looking unto Jesus." The world is the field on which God's grace is shown; we are the actors by whom his work is done. How shall we do this? Beset by hindrances - love of the world, love of self, love of ease. We cannot of ourselves (cf. Luke 22:33, 34; Romans 11:20). We are strong only in trusting to the power of the Lord (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:10; Philippians 4:13).

III. IN THIS THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OUR HELPER. His office is to reveal Christ to the soul. His help is promised if sought for. - M.

This is the token of the covenant which I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set My bow in the cloud.
I. Among the many deep truths which the early chapters of the Book of Genesis enforce, there is none which strikes the thoughtful inquirer more forcibly than does THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE DISORDER OCCASIONED BY MAN'S SIN AND THE REMEDY ORDAINED BY THE WISDOM AND THE MERCY OF GOD. This connection may be traced in a very remarkable manner in the appointment of the rainbow as sign and pledge of the covenant. Rainbow equally dependent for its existence upon storm and upon sunshine. Marvellously adapted, therefore, to serve as type of mercy following upon judgment — as sign of connection between man's sin and God's free and unmerited grace. Connected gloomy recollections of past with bright expectations of future. Taught by anticipation the great lesson which it was reserved for Christ's Gospel fully to reveal, that as sin had abounded, so grace should "much more abound."

II. Further, not only is the rainbow, as offspring equally of storm and sunshine, a fitting emblem of covenant of grace, it is also type of that equally distinctive peculiarity of Christ's Gospel, THAT SORROW AND SUFFERING HAVE THEIR APPOINTED SPHERE OF EXERCISE BOTH GENERALLY IN THE PROVIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION OF THE WORLD, AND INDIVIDUALLY IN THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONAL HOLINESS. Other religions have enforced lessons of patience and of submission beneath the pressure of irremediable ill. It is the Gospel of Christ Jesus alone which converts sorrow and suffering into instruments for the attainment of higher and more enduring blessings. In all God's dealings with His people, when He brings a cloud upon the earth, He sets His bow in that cloud, insomuch that they cease to fear when they enter into it by reason of the presence of Him whose glory inhabits it (Isaiah 54:9, 10).

III. For the full comprehension of the bow, given as a sign of the covenant to Noah and beheld in vision by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:4, 28), we must turn to the New Testament. There we read of One in the midst of a throne, round about which "there was a rainbow, in sight like unto an emerald" (Revelation 4:3). And in close conjunction with this we must have regard to the "mighty angel" beheld by the same seer, "clothed with a cloud and a rainbow upon his head" (Revelation 10:1). Here we seem to find the explanation which is needed of the close and inseparable connection between the cloud and the rainbow — i.e., between judgment and mercy; between the darkness of the one and the brightness of the other. In the person and work of the atoning Mediator we find the only solution of that marvellous combination of judgment and of mercy which is the distinctive characteristic of the whole of the Divine economy. As the rainbow spans the vault of the sky and becomes a link between earth and heaven, so, in the person and work of Christ, is beheld the unchangeableness and perpetuity of that covenant of grace which, like Jacob's ladder, maintains the communication between earth and heaven, and thus, by bringing God very near to man, ushers man into the presence chamber of God.

IV. NECESSARY IMPERFECTION IN ALL EARTHLY TYPES OF HEAVENLY THINGS. In nature continued appearance of rainbow is dependent on continued existence of cloud. In heaven, the rainbow will ever continue to point backward to man's fall, and onward to the perpetuity of a covenant which is" ordered in all things and sure." But the work of judgment will then be accomplished, and therefore the cloud will have no more place in heaven.

(E. B. Elliot, M. A.)

I. GOD SENT A FLOOD ON THE EARTH; God set the rainbow in the cloud for a token. The important thing is to know that the flood did not come of itself, that the rainbow did not come of itself, and therefore that no flood comes of itself, no rainbow comes of itself, but all comes straight and immediately from one living Lord God. The flood and the rainbow were sent for a moral purpose: to punish sinners; to preserve the righteous; to teach Noah and his children after him a moral lesson concerning righteousness and sin concerning the wrath of God against sin — concerning God, that He governs the world and all in it, and does not leave the world or mankind to go on of themselves and by themselves.

II. THE FLOOD AND THE RAINBOW TELL US THAT IT IS GOD'S WILL TO LOVE, TO BLESS, TO MAKE HIS CREATURES HAPPY, IF THEY WILL ALLOW HIM. They tell us that His anger is not a capricious, revengeful, proud, selfish anger, such as that of the heathen gods; but that it is an orderly anger, and therefore an anger which in its wrath can remember mercy. Out of God's wrath shines love, as the rainbow out of the storm. If it repenteth Him that He hath made man, it is only because man is spoiling and ruining himself, and wasting the gifts of the good world by his wickedness. If God sends a flood to destroy all living things, He will show, by putting the rainbow in the cloud, that floods and destruction and anger are not His rule; that His rule is sunshine and peace and order.

III. The Bible account of the flood will teach us HOW TO LOOK AT THE MANY ACCIDENTS WHICH STILL HAPPEN UPON THE EARTH. These disasters do not come of themselves, do not come by accident or chance or blind necessity; God sends them, and they fulfil His will and word. He may send them in anger, but in His anger He remembers mercy, and His very wrath to some is part and parcel of His love to the rest. Therefore these disasters must be meant to do good, and will do good to mankind.

(C. Kingsley, M. A.)

The appointment of the sign of the covenant, or of the rainbow as God's bow of peace, whereby there is at the same time expressed —

1. The elevation of men above the deification of the creature (since the rainbow is not a divinity, but a sign of God, an appointment which even idolatrous nations appear not to have wholly forgotten, when they denote it God's bridge, or God's messenger).

2. Their introduction to the symbolic comprehension and interpretation of natural phenomena, even to the symbolizing of forms and colours.

3. That God's compassion remembers men in their dangers. 4 The setting up of a sign of light and fire, which, along with its assurance that the earth will never be drowned again in water, indicates at the same time its future transformation through light and fire.

(J. P. Lange, D. D.)


1. Because they imply the existence of evil.

2. Because suffering is connected with them.

3. Because they are the last means employed to humble the proud and impenitent.


1. By removing every cause of fear.

2. By giving us perfect liberty of action.


1. By giving us a ground for trust in Him.

2. By the comprehensiveness of the covenant

3. By giving us visible evidence of His faithfulness.


1. Because they are freely given.

2. Because there is power to perform them.

3. Because the honour of His government is pledged in their performance.


I. THE SACRIFICE. A token of —

1. Gratitude.

2. Penitence.

3. Good resolve. Dedication of himself and family to God's service.


1. A renewal of the primal blessing.

2. Animal food permitted to be used, with a particular restriction.

3. A strict law is given against murder, implying that men are responsible both to God and to their fellow men, for any violence done.

4. A promise is given by God, that there shall be no more a flood to destroy the earth.

III. THE TOKEN OF THE COVENANT. The rainbow: the light of sunshine on a departing storm. A cheering, gladdening sight. Fit symbol of mercy, and of hope. LEARN:

1. From the sacrifice, self-consecration to God our Saviour.

2. From the covenant, obedience to God, and love to our fellow men.

3. From the beautiful token of God's faithfulness, an undying hope in His mercy which endureth forever.

(W. S. Smith, B. D.)

How often after that terrible flood must Noah and his sons have felt anxious when a time of heavy rain set in, and the rivers Euphrates and Tigris rose over their banks and submerged the low level land! But if for a while their hearts misgave them, they had a cheering sign to reassure them, for in the heaviest purple storm cloud stood the rainbow, recalling to their minds the promise of God.

I. If it be true that God's rainbow stands as a pledge to the earth that it shall never again be overwhelmed, is it not also true that HE HAS SET HIS BOW IN EVERY CLOUD THAT RISES AND TROUBLES MAN'S MENTAL SKY? Beautiful prismatic colours in the rainbow that shines in every cloud — in the cloud of sorrow, in the cloud of spiritual famine, in the cloud of wrong-doing.

II. We are too apt in troubles to settle down into sullen despair, TO LOOK TO THE WORST, INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR THE BOW. There are many strange-shaped clouds that rise above man's horizon and make his heavens black with wind and rain. But each has its bow shining on it. Only wait, endure God's time, and the sun will look out on the rolling masses of vapour, on the rain, and paint thereon its token of God's love.

(S. Baring-Gould, M. A.)

Whenever we see a rainbow, let us —(1) Call to mind that it is God's bow seen in the cloud.(2) Conclude, that in His darkest dispensations, there is ever a gracious purpose towards us.(3) Consider that all warnings of wrath to come are accompanied with offers of pardon to the penitent.

(W. Adamson.)


1. The cloud turns our attention to God who sends it.

2. The bow kindles again our faith and love.

II. IN THE NATURE OF THINGS, WHERE THERE IS NO CLOUD THERE CAN BE NO BOW. The clouds of suffering make the promises precious.



V. THE CLOUD AND THE BOW BELONG NOT MERELY TO THE TIME WHEN WE ARE UNDER THEM, BUT TO ALL TIME. When Noah first saw the bow after the deluge, he would be delighted; many storms, and many bows, and many deliverances, would go to perfect faith and to establish love. So our trials and testings on Divine words and deliverances consolidate themselves into our life. and become part of our permanent manhood.


1. Affliction, when it comes personally, will force the attention and thought of the most stoical. But suffering is not necessarily sanctifying, or devils might exceed the angels ill holiness.

2. Many from various causes, and with various motives, read the Scriptures. The true beauty of the Divine words can only be beheld in the light of Him who spake them.

(F. G. Marchant)

The Preacher's Monthly.




(The Preacher's Monthly.)

I. IN A WORLD LIKE THIS IT IS TO BE EXPECTED, AS A THING OF COURSE, THAT CLOUDS SHOULD ARISE. It is a matter inseparable from the constitution of things here existing. And just so it is in the world of Providence, with those trims and afflictions of which we may consider the clouds of heaven as an illustration. We are here in a vale of tears, in which "it must needs be that afflictions will come." There are causes at work here which must as necessarily lead to this result, as in the world of nature the operation of the sun's heat on the water's surface must give rise to clouds.

II. WHENEVER THESE CLOUDS ARISE, AND WHATEVER COURSE THEY TAKE, THEY ARE ALWAYS UNDER DIVINE GUIDANCE. How much like a thing of chance it seems when the moisture arises, almost imperceptibly to human vision, and floats away into the air of heaven! But there is nothing casual or chanceful about it. God is as truly present in that silent operation as He was when the world was made. The language of the text is true of every cloud that forms in the air — "I do bring it." And as He brings it, so He guides it. "Doubtless the sailing of a cloud hath Providence for its pilot." The hand which forms them as they rise is never removed from them while they exist. They go where God directs: they do what God designs; and when God wills, they dissolve and disappear. And just so it is with the clouds of trial and affliction which rise and float in the Providential firmament. From whatever source they come; whatever character they assume; or whatever instrumentality is employed to produce them, still, we are to look beyond all these, and to consider that it is God alone who brings them.


1. What is needed in order that the bow should appear in the heavens? The cloud, the sun and the rain must exist, and that, too, in a certain relation with each other. The cloud is needed as the canvas on which the bow of beauty shall be painted. The sun is needed to give the light, the colours, of which the painting is composed; and the drops of falling rain are needed, as the pencil by which those colours are applied — the medium required to decompose the rays of light, and spread out their varying hues in blended loveliness. And in the spiritual world, to which we are applying the subject, there must be that which answers to these three requirements. There must be cloud, a ground work of human guilt and sorrow, on which the bow can be projected. There must be a Sun of Righteousness — a Divine Saviour causing the beams of His favour to shine forth; and there must be the descending showers of Divine grace to refract those glorious rays, and illumine with their brightness the dark horizon of man's prospects.

2. But what is necessary to the seeing of this bow when it does appear? A man must be led to see himself a ruined sinner; he must turn, under a sense of this ruin, in true penitence to Christ; he must submit himself, without reserve, to Him; he must seek pardon through His blood, and acceptance in His merits; he must be led to the exercise of heart-felt living faith in Him and His precious word; he must have a personal and saving interest in the blessings of His covenant, and then he will be occupying the proper point of view from which to see distinctly the bow of the covenant, and feel the covenant and delight which that view can give.

3. But what is implied in seeing this bow? It denotes a thorough, inwrought, abiding conviction, that God's hand is in every rising, threatening cloud, and that it is there for good. It denotes a lively, vigorous hope, entering within the vail, trod keeping the soul steady in her heavenward course, whatever storms may burst and beat around it.

(R. Newton, D. D.)


1. A time of desolation. A father runs to the comfort of a frightened child; so our heavenly Father is never so ready to come to our comfort, as when the soul is filled to the full with a trembling fear of Him. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant."

2. In confirmation of this, observe again, the Lord made this covenant with Noah, when Noah was humbling himself as a sinner before Him.

II. BUT WHAT WAS THIS COVENANT THAT THE LORD ENTERED INTO WITH NOAH AT THIS TIME? It is remarkable that, though detailed in this chapter with much minuteness, it relates only to temporal blessings. Not one spiritual promise does it contain. All it stipulates is, that there shall never again be a general flood or famine on the earth. And yet, notwithstanding this, it bears in many particulars so close a resemblance to that everlasting covenant established in Christ between Jehovah and His Church, that we cannot look at the one without thinking of the other; we see the same God acting in both on the same principles; making in fact the one almost a type or counterpart of the other.

1. This covenant had God alone as its author.

2. This covenant was a disclosure to Noah of God's secret thoughts and purposes. The history describes it as such, for it traces it not simply to God, but to the heart and mind of God.

3. This covenant with Noah was connected with a sacrifice; it was, indeed, founded on one.

III. Let us pass on now to THE APPOINTED TOKEN OF THIS COVENANT. Now, what is there resembling this in the Christian covenant? We may turn to the sacrament of the Lord's supper. It is of the same character. It is a memorial to us of our sinfulness and danger, and of the promises God has given us in our crucified Lord of security from that sinfulness and danger. It is, too, like the rainbow, a memorial of God's own appointment; and being such, we may safely look on it in the same light in which He holds up this shining bow to us, as a memorial to God Himself of His promises. On our part, it is a reminding Him of them, a pleading of them before Him; and it is like an assuring of us on His part, that He will never forget them. Hence we sometimes call it a seal of God's covenant of grace. Every time it is celebrated among us, it confirms and ratifies anew that covenant, as a seal ratifies the earthly contract to which it is affixed. And hence our Church tells us that our Lord "instituted and ordained these holy mysteries as pledges of His love, as well as for a continual remembrance of His death."

(C. Bradley, M. A.)


1. God does not display the bow upon a blue and cloudless sky, but when there are clouds, and there is rain. The bow does not remove the clouds, but beautifies and illumines them. So the promises of God do not remove, but beautify and illumine, the darkness and mysteries of earth. The cloud of guilt is arched with the bow of pardon. The cloud of sorrow has the promise of support and relief; for bereavement, there shall be reunion; for cross bearing, crown wearing; for conflict, victory; for labour, rest; for pilgrimage, home. The cloud of mystery has the bow of providence arching it. The cloud of death has the bow of hope.

2. The bow can be seen only when the sun is shining. So the promises of God which arch the clouds of sin, sorrow, death, are produced by the light of the benign countenance of God, who is a sun and shield, and gives both grace and glory.

3. The bow can only be seen when the beholder looks up.


1. To remind God of His covenant.

2. To remind man of his comfort.

(1)That God accepts human worship when associated with Divinely appointed sacrifice.

(2)That God is slow to anger.

(3)That God is great in power.

(4)That God is faithful to His promises.

(F. W. Brown.)

We have to talk of two things — first, the tenor of the covenant, and secondly, the token of it — running parallel all the way through between the two covenants.

I. First, then, the covenant itself: WHAT IS ITS TENOR?

1. We reply that it is a covenant of pure grace. There was nothing in Noah why God should make a covenant with him.

2. The covenant, we note, in the next place, was all of promise. You will be struck, if you read these verses, how it runs over and over again: "I establish" — "it shall come to pass" — "I will" — "it shall" — "I will." "I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your iniquities will I save you."

3. There is this about Noah's covenant, and about the covenant of grace, that it does not depend in any degree at all upon man; for, if you will notice, the bow is put in the cloud, but it does not say, "And when ye shall look upon the bow, and ye shall remember My covenant, then I will not destroy the earth," but it is gloriously put not upon our memory, which is fickle and frail, but upon God's memory, which is infinite and immutable. "The bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant." Oh! it is not my remembering God, it is God's remembering me; it is not my laying hold of His covenant, but His covenant laying hold on me.

4. And hence — for all these reasons it is an everlasting covenant. For ever has God established this covenant in heaven. Even so the covenant of grace is not intended to be fleeting and temporary. "Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven." "He hath made with us an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure." "He will ever be mindful of His covenant."

II. THE TOKEN OF THE COVENANT. The covenant needs no token, as far as God is concerned; tokens are given for us, because of our littleness of heart, our unbelief, our constant forgetfulness of God's promise. The rainbow is the symbol of Noah's covenant; and Jesus Christ, who is the covenant, is also the symbol of that covenant to us. He is the Faithful Witness in heaven.

1. Briefly, upon this part of the subject let us notice when we may expect to see the token of the covenant.(1) The rainbow is only to be seen painted upon a cloud. Expect no tokens, except when thou needest them.(2) Nor does a cloud alone give a rainbow. So, beloved, our sorrows must not only threaten, but they must really fall upon us.(3) But, then, there must be a sun; for clouds and drops of rain make not rainbows, unless the sun shineth.

2. What do we see in our covenant witness in heaven? We see in Him what we see in the rainbow.(1) In the rainbow we see transcendent glory and beauty. As one of the works of God, it is worthy to be sought out by them that have pleasure therein.(2) Again: in the rainbow, and in Christ, I see vengeance satisfied. Is not the bow the symbol of the warrior's power?(3) The rainbow, yet again, is a token that vengeance itself has become on our side. You see, it is an unbroken "bow." Vengeance is there, justice is there; but which way is it pointed? It is turned upward; not to shoot arrows down on us, but for us, if we have faith enough to string it, and to make it our glorious bow — to draw it with all our might, to send our prayers, our praises, our desires, up to the bright throne of God.

3. How ought we to act with regard to this rainbow, and Jesus Christ as the symbol of the covenant?(1) First, let us act like little children. Little children run in clapping their hands with glee: "Father, there's a rainbow!" Out they run to look at it; and they wonder whether they could find the end of it; they wish you would let them run till they could catch it. Whenever we think of Christ let us be little children, and look, and look, and look again; and let us long to get at Him, for, unlike the rainbow, we can get at Him.(2) While we gaze, ought we not to praise and admire? One or two of the nations of antiquity had it as a part of their religion always to sing hymns when they saw the rainbow. Should not we whenever we see Christ?(3) And again, when we see Christ, we ought to confess our sin with humiliation. An old writer says that the Jews confess their sins when they see the rainbow. I am sure, whenever we see Christ, we ought to remember the deluge of wrath from which He has delivered us, the flames of hell from which He has saved us; and so, humbly bowing ourselves in the dust, let us love, and praise, and bless His name.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

The Evangelical Preacher.

1. Whoever may claim exemption from afflictions personal and relative, it is not the Christian, for, "whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth."

2. Believers, in a peculiar manner, like their Lord, are exposed to temptations from the great adversary.

3. And frequently are they exposed to persecution from the world.

II. THERE IS A BOW TO BE SEEN IN THE CLOUDS. God's promises (Zechariah 13:9; James 1:12; Matthew 5:10; Isaiah 50:10).


1. Have not the clouds of affliction ever proved to be big with blessings in the experience of all true children of God?

2. Temptation has proved a blessing when it has been met with in the path of duty, and when it has been combated with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

3. Persecution, when it has come upon the Church, has always purified it, and in like manner its effect has been, in the case of all sincere Christians, to make them more earnest than ever in the Divine life.

4. Clouds of spiritual darkness are not permitted to come upon the believer in vain.

(The Evangelical Preacher.)


II. THE TOKEN. The rainbow. "My bow."

1. An old thing invested with a new meaning. To the Christian common things are remembrancers of higher truths. The vine, the sun, etc., speak of Christ. Birds and flowers speak of Providence. They are silent on these matters to the worldly man.

2. Conspicuous. The rainbow, an object vast and visible. Spanning the heavens.

3. Attractive. Beautiful in shape and colour. Though often seen, always looked upon with a new delight.

4. Universal. Wherever the falling rain could bring the flood to mind, there the rainbow preaches of the mercy and faithfulness of God. LEARN:

I. The condescension of a covenant making God.

II. The faithfulness of a covenant keeping God.

III. The obligation we are under of covenanting to serve God, and of keeping that covenant.

IV. To see in natural objects remembrancers of Divine thoughts and truths.

(J. C. Gray.)

1. The cloud of speculative doubt.

2. The cloud caused by secular occupation.

3. The cloud of social distress.

4. The cloud caused by spiritual depression — "Cast thy burden on the Lord."

(A. F. Barfield.)

How many spiritual lessons concerning the covenant itself are shadowed forth in this beautiful emblem. I would we never looked on it without remembering them.

1. "The bow shall be seen in the cloud." We make too much of clouds: the prophet tells us "the clouds are the dust of His feet" (Nahum 1:3); and the Psalmist tells us He maketh the clouds His chariot oftentimes, as He once came to His disciples walking upon the waters; the clouds are the way by which He comes down to people's hearts, or brings them up to Him. It may be a cloud in our families, a cloud impending over our circumstances, a cloud in our experience, some conflict, some temptation it may be; but if God has brought the cloud, do not fear; the bow shall be seen in the cloud. And we cannot have the bow if we have not the cloud. We make too much of clouds; welcome the cloud, if the bow of your God is seen there.

2. Again observe, the bow surrounds the cloud, encompasses it; it is crowned with the bow; the bow is coloured rain, the edge of the cloud gilded.

3. Again, it is not from earth that bow comes, but from the heavens. The clouds all arise from the earth, the sun made by God shines down upon them, and they reflect its beauty; and so it is the Sun of Righteousness that gilds the clouds arising from our own murky hearts; the promise of a time to come, when rain and clouds shall be over and gone.

4. We may learn another lesson from the bow. Some people are puzzled with regard to the doctrine of the Trinity; they wonder very much if so difficult and seemingly contradictory a doctrine can be true. Why, God has hung up in the heavens a natural trinity to remind us of the covenant of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the sinner's salvation. See how the three primal colours blend in that arch in all the varieties of beauty. There are three in one in that beautiful arch. Whenever you are puzzled as to the Trinity, look at the rainbow, God's natural emblem of the fulness of the Father, the fulness of the Son, and the fulness of the Holy Ghost, pledged for the salvation of poor sinners.

5. Yet again, look at the rainbow. It is a gateway without gates between heaven and earth. The beautiful arch lies open; no bolted gates hang there on golden hinges; it is a doorway without a door; for the rent veil has made a new and living way, and God has come down to us that He might have fellowship with us. "Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it."

6. And again, consider the rainbow. It is a bow not bent towards us, but bent from us heavenwards, a bow without an arrow, a window in heaven, that our prayers may go up and enter in, and be presented by Him who stands before the throne, that we and they may be accepted.

7. Once again, the earth hides half of that beauteous bow. If you were above the earth, away beyond its mists, beyond its clouds and darkness, and beyond its hills and vales, the bow would appear a circle to you; now earth hides half of it, but by-and-by, when we are in heaven, the rainbow will be seen all round the throne. Now we see in part, we understand in part, we know in part; the mists of earth, and the earthliness of earth, hide much of the splendour and of the glory that our God has pledged Himself to bestow, but we shall see as we are seen, and know as we are known, where the rainbow is about the throne, and round about the head of Him who sits upon the throne.

8. Lastly, we read of another circle round about the throne, the company of the redeemed! There they are under the shadow of the rainbow, which was to them the pledge of the love and care of the God in whom they trusted.

(M. Rainsford, B. A.)

Well may we adopt the language of the author of the book of Ecclesiasticus, and say, "Look upon the rainbow and praise Him who made it. It compasseth the heaven about with a glorious circle: and the hands of the Most High have bended it" (Genesis 43:11, 12). The prophet Isaiah has also a very remarkable reference to the rainbow, when speaking of the strength and perpetuity of the Church (Isaiah 54:7, etc.). Never more shall calamities overspread the whole Church, and threaten its complete destruction. Times of trial and persecution must, indeed, come, but Zion will always be safe. As the rainbow is only to be seen painted upon a cloud, so when the conscience is covered with thickest, darkest gloom, at the remembrance of many and grievous sins, Christ Jesus is revealed as the covenant rainbow, displaying all the loveliest attributes of the Divine character, and betokening peace. The bow in the cloud is not a mere general assurance that God will keep His promises with His people, but it is a special token of His grace; and as we gaze upon the beautiful iris arching the eastern horizon, and resting on its dark background of clouds, our thoughts reach far beyond the covenant made with Noah, to a more glorious covenant of grace, and we may read in its glorious colourings, as in an illuminated Bible, a pledge of the provisions of mercy secured to us by His death and sacrifice. "Many years ago," says a pastor in his sketch book, "I was intimately acquainted with a man of uncommon intellectual powers and social qualities, which endeared him to a large circle of friends. He had keen wit; was a close observer of character; courteous in his manner: he was without a personal enemy in the world. His parents were people of simple but fervent piety, and he was accustomed from childhood to attend public worship, and continued the practice — though not regularly — when he became a man. A lawyer by profession, his circumstances were so easy that he had no occasion to apply himself to business, and his social qualities proved a snare, and led to his ruin. In the meridian of life he was seized with a fatal disease, and slowly sank into the grave. His minister was attentive in visiting him, but the sick man seemed in good spirits, and even made a jest of the emaciation of his limbs. As death drew nearer, however, this careless state of mind gave place to a horror of great darkness. His Christian friends watched with sleepless anxiety, and prayed with earnest importunity for some token of mercy, but the sick man still wandered in the wilderness where there was no way. A sister's gentle voice inquired if he felt no relief; his uniform reply, given in broken and despairing accents, was, 'Not a ray of hope yet! Not a ray of hope!' Among his near relatives was an aged Christian who lived in a distant city, and, on one occasion, the silence of the chamber was disturbed by an exclamation from the sick man, who seemed to have been musing upon the dreary hopelessness of his condition: 'I used to laugh at uncle's prayers: but I would give the world for an interest in them now.' In this state of fearful apprehension and despair, the poor man went down to the grave, his last intelligible words being but a repetition of his oft-repeated complaint, 'Not a ray of hope yet!'" God has set His bow in the cloud as a token of His covenant of grace, and the most undeserving of us may now find acceptance in the Beloved. Aye, even amidst the awful scenes of the judgment, we shall not be disappointed of our hope, when we behold the Redeemer in whom we have trusted, coming with power and great glory; for there shall be "a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald!"

(J. N. Norton, D. D.)

Well might a reflecting mind look with wonder at the marvellous arch, which in magic swiftness, and in more magic colours, encompasses the still cloud covered part of heaven; whilst the radiant sun sends his glorious beams from the other part, already restored to its usual serenity. Its beauty delights the eye, whilst its grandeur elevates the mind; it teaches the omnipotence of God, but still more His love; when the flashes of lightning have ceased, and the roaring of the tempest is silent, its chaste brilliancy falls like morning dew on the desponding heart; admiration and gratitude mingle in the breast; and when the pearly bow then appears, like an eternal bridge, to connect heaven and earth, the soul rises on the soft wings of veneration, disturbed by no doubt, and awed by no fear, to those regions where love and beauty never cease. Almost all ancient nations, therefore, have connected religious ideas with the appearance of the rainbow. The Greeks considered it generally as the path on which Iris, the messenger of the king and queen of Olympus, travelled from heaven to earth; Homer describes it as fixed in the clouds to be a sign to man, either of war or of icy winter. But Iris herself was very frequently identified with the rainbow, and she was considered to be the daughter of Thaumas (Wonder), by Electra (Brightness), the daughter of Oceanus, which parentage describes appropriately the nature and origin of the rainbow. Her usual epithets are "swift-footed," and "gold-winged"; and the probable etymology of her name points either to the external, or, perhaps, to the internal connection between earth and heaven, between man and the deity; and thus she is the conciliating, the peace-restoring goddess, and is represented with the herald. staff in her left hand. The Persians seem likewise to have connected the office of divine messenger with that phenomenon; for an old picture represents a winged boy on a rainbow, and before him kneels an old man in a posture of worship. The Hindoos describe the rainbow as a weapon in the hands of Indras, with which he hurls flashing darts upon the impious giants, and the Chinese consider it as foreboding troubles and misfortunes on earth; but the former regard it as also the symbol of peace, which appears to man when the combat of the heavens is silenced. These analogies are sufficient to prove the generality with which higher notions were attached to the rainbow; they account for its application in the Pentateuch to a very remarkable purpose; they explain why the New Testament represented the rainbow as an attribute of the Divine throne (Revelation 4:3), or of angels sent as messengers upon the earth (Revelation 10:1); but they are likewise clear enough to manifest in this point also the great superiority of Biblical conceptions. In the Mosaic narrative every superstitious element is banished; it serves no other end but to remind God of His merciful promise never again to destroy the earth and its inhabitants; it is, indeed, appointed more for God than for the sake of man; God sees it, and remembers thus the everlasting covenant with the earth; and if the men are rejoiced at the sight of that beautiful phenomenon, it is merely because it gives them the certainty that the covenant is not forgotten; when torrents of rain begin to inundate the earth, and the thunder rolls through the heavy air, when lowering clouds conceal the light of the orb of day, and the heart of man begins to despond and to tremble, the rainbow appears suddenly like a thought from a better world; it announces the peace of nature, and the renewal of the eternal promise. And this implies another proof that the Noachian covenant imposed no obligations upon man, and that it was a pure act of mercy.

(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)

The bow, which cheers us in the first pages of our Bible, shines brightly to the last. We read in the Revelation that John was in the Spirit; a door was opened before him in heaven; and, behold, a throne was set. But what encircled it? The rainbow (Revelation 4:3; Revelation 10:1). Thus in the fullest blaze of the Gospel, the bow continued the chosen emblem of the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ. Let a few cases from the diary of experience illustrate this. In our journey through the wilderness, the horizon is often obscured by storms like these; terrors of conscience — absence of peace — harassing perplexities — crushing burdens of difficulties. But from behind these dusky curtains, the bow strides forth in its strength. It is indeed a cheerless day, when errors of conscience pour down pitiless peltings. Spectres of past sins start up. A grim array of bygone iniquities burst their tombs; and each terrifies by hideous form, and each points to eternal death as its due. The light of life seems excluded by She dread, Can there be hope, when sins have been so many and so grievous, and against the clearest knowledge, and after such tender pardons, and such healings of mercy? Wild is this tempest's roar; but in its midst faith can still look upwards, and see Jesus with outstretched arms before the throne of God. There is a rainbow upon His head, and the bright colours write, "Father, forgive them." "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." The darkness vanishes, and clear joy returns. Absence of peace, too, is a heavy cloud. Many a cross of spiritual distress lies in the believer's path. Today he may recline joyously on the sunny slopes of the Gospel; tomorrow the thunders of Sinai affright. Today David sits high at the banquet of the king; tomorrow he is an outcast in the cave of Adullam. But in these dreary hours the gladdening bow, which crowns the Redeemer's head, will suddenly appear. In letters of light the truth is emblazoned, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever." "I change not; therefore are ye not consumed." "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Again the darkness vanishes, and clear joy returns. Perplexities are often as a mass of clouds. The pilgrim would climb the hill of Zion, but impassable rocks are on either side: the sea is in the front; the Egyptians in the rear. He sighs, as the lepers of Samaria, "If we say, we will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit still here, we die also" (2 Kings 7:4). He is in the straits of David. The enemy has left him desolate; his friends are ready to stone him (1 Samuel 30:6). But he looks aloft to Jesus, and the bow is bright. The "faithful and true Witness" cheers him onward: "This is the way, walk in it." "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shelf go, I will guide thee with Mine eye." So, also, burdens of difficulties often oppress. The believer is ready to sink beneath the weight. Moses felt this when he said, "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel?" But a bow was in the cloud, and it sparkled with the promise, "Certainly I will be with thee." He went and prospered. The women on the way to the sepulchre were in gloom: "Who," said they, "will roll us away the stone?" But a bow was in the cloud. Hoping against hope, they advanced, and the stone was gone. Paul trembled when he was to stand alone before the tyrant and his court. But a bow was in the cloud, and he took courage: "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me. Notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion."

(Dean Law.)

I. Let us contemplate the INTERESTING BEAUTY OF THE RAINBOW. The rainbow is an object with which all are familiar. This beautiful rainbow could not be overlooked by the ancient heathens. They saw it, and were rapt in admiration. They thought it must be something Divine. They consecrated it — they fell prostrate and adored it — they called it Iris, whom they imagined to be the messenger of the gods. It is worthy of remembrance that, in this undoubted fact, we have another convincing evidence of the strength of ancient tradition; and of the importance of revelation being considered as the basis of a great portion of the heathen mythology. But how beautifully consonant with Divine truth is the idea embodied in this pagan mystery! The rainbow is, truly, a "messenger" of God — a messenger of peace and joy — a herald of truth, security, and love.

II. It may be desirable, in furtherance of our design, to examine the NATURE OF THIS PHENOMENON; and to explain its formation and physical properties. The rainbow is produced by rays of light falling upon drops of water.

1. There must be rain descending the whole breadth of the rainbow.

2. The sun must shine exactly opposite to the falling shower.

3. The spectator must stand with his back to the sun, placing himself thus opposite the rainbow. Then the following phenomenon will be observed: — If the sun shines upon the drops of rain as they are falling, the rays which come from those drops to the eye of the spectator will cause the appearance of the primary or strongly-coloured rainbow. And the reason of the colours being exhibited is, that every drop of rain, being globular and transparent, receives the pencil of light, which, as soon as it touches the outside of the higher part of the drop, is refracted or bent; it then passes on through the drop to the inside of the globule at the opposite or back part of it, where the inner surface acts like a concave mirror, and reflects or throws back the incident pencil of light to the outer or lower surface, through which it passes, and so is refracted a second time; and then it comes down to the eye of the spectator. But, as the rays emerge from the drop, they proceed each in a divergent line; therefore, one ray only of that pencil can reach the eye, giving the perception of one of the seven prismatic colours. Those rays which are contiguous and parallel produce the same colour; and its strength or vividness will depend upon the number of rays which, being contiguous and parallel, reach the eye. But, in the rainbow we observe the seven prismatic colours — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet; and always in the same order of arrangement. And this appearance of seven colours, in order, one above another, is caused by the drops being disposed in the same manner; and, as each drop makes a different angle with the eye, the different colours will be perceived in succession; and thus the whole bow will be presented to view.

III. Our subject especially requires that we should advance from this general view of the nature of this phenomenon, to the NOVELTY OF THE SPECTACLE AT THE ERA OF THE DELUGE.

IV. Our serious reflections are now demanded for the consideration of THE DESIGN AND UTILITY OF THIS PHENOMENON. This is expressed by the sacred historian: it is "set" as a sign — the token of a covenant between God and the earth. All the works of God praise Him — they show His eternal power and Godhead. In some of His works, Jehovah utters a more significant voice. The bush burns unconsumed; the pillar of fire goes before the people; the sea makes a pathway through its disparted waves; the rock send forth its stream in the desert; the manna descends from the skies; the star guides the magi to Bethlehem; the sun refuses to shine upon the hour of the Saviour's crucifixion. So, in the present instance, we behold a sublime and beautiful phenomenon — a lecture printed in golden letters, on the tablet of the skies.

1. The rainbow is the memento of a dispensation of mercy and judgment. To creatures of sense, simple revelation seems insufficient for the purposes of faith. Feeble and faltering man "seeks after a sign." He requires something to impress his organs of perception as well as to convince his judgment. And He who made man, and considers his frame and constitution — his wants and fears — gives him sign upon sign, as well as precept upon precept. Hence, the great value of sacramental symbols. The bow of earth is the emblem of hostility; and is joined, in martial regalia, with the shield and the sword and the battle: but the celestial bow has no array of vengeance — no shaft of perdition. It reminds, most powerfully, of the storm retiring, and the deluge past to return no more.

2. It is an illustration of the meeting of mercy and judgment. Behold the glorious arch! it rises heavenward; it descends to earth; it spans the concave of the skies; it thus brings heaven and earth together. It beams, like a bond of glory, between the accursed soil and the propitious heaven.

3. It is a demonstration of the triumph of mercy over judgment. To the spectator, the prismatic bow presents its brightest aspect — its dark side leans upon the storm — it tells the shelter-seeking husbandman that the sun hath pierced the clouds, and the winds are driving off the tempest. Its beaming is the radiance of love.

4. The rainbow is a striking symbol of our glorious Mediator. Come and behold how heaven and earth are made one in Christ Jesus: yea, believe, for yourselves, that God is in Christ reconciling you unto Himself, and not imputing your trespasses unto you!

(C. Burton, LL. D.)

A pledge more appropriate or significant it is not possible to conceive. The theory of the rainbow, physically considered, can be minutely worked out only by the intricate processes of calculus. Every time the arch is formed, there comes into harmonious play a multitude of laws; for example, laws of gravitation, which determine the position of the cloud and the curve of the descending rain and the size and the shape of each molecule; laws of light, according to which the solar rays are absorbed and transmitted and reflected and refracted and polarized, and this, too, in every variety of angle and direction and velocity; laws of geometry, which determine all the angles of incidence and reflection and refraction and interference and polarization; laws of vision and consciousness, by which the beholder perceives on his own retina the image of the beautiful phenomenon, and recognizes it as a rainbow. In other words, the bow in the cloud and our perception of it is the natural result of a perfect adjustment in space and in time of all these multitudinous, complicated, delicatest processes. What a peculiar appropriateness, then, in God's selecting this phenomenon of exquisite beauty as the pledge of His veracity in respect be the constancy of nature, when we remember that the rainbow, involving as it does every time it is formed the perfect adjustment of countless contingencies, is nevertheless of frequent recurrence! What a sublime testimony each recurrence of the rainbow through the ages that have gone before us has been to the infinite regularity with which the Lord of nature has administered His own manifold laws! Had the bow in the cloud never been seen except when Noah and his family gazed on it, we should have ranked it, like the flood, among supernatural events. But the frequent recurrence of the phenomenon, ever and anon spanning our horizon, brings it down within the plane of the natural. Thus the natural becomes itself a sign of the supernatural.

(G. D. Boardman, D. D.)

The rainbow of the covenant of grace lasts forever; it never melts. The one on which Noah gazed soon lost its brilliancy. Fainter and fainter still it grew, until, like a coloured haze, it just quivered in the air, and then faded from the vision. Ten thousand rainbows since have arched our earth, and then melted in the clouds; but the rainbow of God's mercy in Christ abides forever. It shines with undiminished splendour from all eternity, and its brilliancy will dazzle the eyes of redeemed humanity through the countless cycles of the same eternity. As has been said by Guthrie, it gleams in heaven tonight, yea, it beams sweetly on earth with harmonious hues, mellowed and blended into each other as fresh as ever. And when the sun has run his course and given place unto eternity, that bow of grace will still remain forever, and be the theme of the ceaseless songs of spirits glorified in heaven, as, wrapt in the radiance of that sinless. sunless land, they realize that the darkness of earth was but the shadow of God's wing sheltering them from earth's too scorching sun.

(W. Adamson.)

? — The covenant is that there shall not be any more a flood to destroy the earth, and the token of the covenant is bow in the cloud. But was there not a rainbow before there was a flood? Of course there was. You do not suppose that the rainbow was made on purpose? There were rainbows, it may be, thousands of ages before man was created, certainly from the time that the sun and the rain first knew each other. But old forms may be put to new uses. Physical objects may be clothed with moral meanings. The stars in heaven and the sand by the seashore may come to be unto Abraham as a family register. One day common bread may be turned into sacramental food, and ordinary wine may become as the blood of atonement! The rainbow which was once nothing but a thing of evanescent beauty, created by the sun and the rain, henceforward became the token of a covenant and was sacred as a revelation from heaven. When you lived in a rich English county the song of the lark was nothing to you, it was so familiar; you had heard the dinning trill of a hundred larks in the morning air: but when you went out to the far-away colony, and for years did not hear the voice of a single home bird, you suddenly caught the note of a lark just brought, to the land, and the tears of boyhood streamed down your cheeks as you listened to the little messenger from home. To hear it was like hearing a gospel. From that day the lark was to you as the token of a covenant! In speaking to Noah, God did not then create the bow; He turned it into the sign of a holy bond. The fear is that we may have the bond and not the oath. We may see physical causes producing physical effects, and yet may see no moral significations passing through the common scenery of earth and sky. Cultivate the spirit of moral interpretation if you would be wise and restful: then the rainhow will keep away the flood; the fowls of the air will save you from anxiety; and the lilies of the field will give you an assurance of tender care. Why, everything is yours! The daisy you trod upon just now was telling you that if God so clothe the grass of the field, He will much more clothe the child that bears His own image. Very beautiful is this idea of God giving us something to look at, in order to keep our faith steady. He knows that we need pictures, and rests, and voices, and signs, and these He has well supplied. We might have forgotten the word, but we cannot fail to see the bow; every child sees it, and exclaims at the sight with glad surprise. If anyone would tell the child the sweet meaning of the bow, it might move his soul to a still higher ecstasy! And so with all other things God has given us as signs and tokens: the sacred Book, the water of baptism, the bread and wine, the quiet Sabbath, the house of prayer; all these have deeper meanings than are written in their names; search for those meanings, keep them, and you will be rich.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

The rainbow arches the sky. A summer or two since, standing on a hilltop and looking eastward, I saw a wondrous sight. A fierce shower had just ended, and yonder, arching the heavens from extreme north to extreme south, was a magnificent rainbow. Each end of it rested on a mountain top, while under its very centre, in a deep valley between the mountains, nestled a city whose spires and windows glistened in the reflection of the setting sun. Not more sublime was this than that which it symbolized. God's promises span the universe; they cover all the needs of man. Not a community exists which might not look up and see the jewels of Divine love arching the sky above them.

(A. P. Foster.)

"Oh," cries an impassioned lover of nature, "that I, on my deathbed, may behold a rainbow!" And let every Christian echo the voice, and say, "Oh, that on my deathbed I may behold the rainbow of the covenant."

(G. Gilfillan.)

Old Testament Anecdotes.
The native account of the last martyrdom in Madagascar concludes in these touching words: — "Then they prayed, 'Oh Lord, receive our spirits, for Thy love to us hath caused this to come to us; and lay not this sin to their charge.' Thus prayed they as long as they had any life, and then they died — softly, gently; and there was at the time a rainbow in the heavens which seemed to touch the place of the burning."

(Old Testament Anecdotes.)

I will look upon it.

While we are looking at the objects of nature, as well as at the events of Providence and the mysteries of grace, from below, God is looking at them from above. While we are gazing at the thundercloud with terror, and cowering under it, God sees it from a serene sky, and cast far beneath His feet. While the shadow of eclipse is darkening whole continents, the sun seems as bright a mote as ever it did to the eye of God. When a world or a system of worlds has ceased to shine, it appears to God as the melting of a little patch of snow on a spring mountain does to us. But while this is true in one view, it is also in another true; that often what seems little to us is great in the sight of God. The common order of men see no beauty in the rainbow; the man of science thinks little of it except as a complete analysis of light; the poet sings its splendour; the Christian, even while admiring, seldom thinks of it as a God built bulwark against the return of the waters of Noah; but the Almighty never rears again its arch, or looks upon it when reared, without remembering His promise; it is to Him His original oath, cast in aerial architecture, transcribed in letters of gold. And so, too, with things of a moral kind. The difference between the famous contradictory conclusions of the two knights in reference to the golden and silver sides of the shield, is only a type of the difference between the estimates formed of various subjects by God and by man; only a type, because both these were right, and right equally; whereas God's thoughts are not only not as our thoughts, but are ineffably nearer the truth. How solemn and how humbling to remember that, whatever we are looking at or thinking on, whether in the physical or moral world, God is looking at, and judging of too, from a far superior point of view; that our notions of things differ from His now by exaggeration, now by diminution, and now by distortion, but are never exactly the same; and that, even if they differ by a single iota, they are so far wrong. This consideration might indeed well drive us to despair, for how can we tell what are God's views, were it not that in the Bible, echoing too the voice of conscience, the "God within the breast," we are not altogether left to conjecture as to the Divine "thoughts," and all its writers justly can boast that they have the mind of God.

(G. Gilfillan.)

Ham, Japheth, Noah, Shem
Tigris-Euphrates Region
Age-during, Agreement, Appears, Bow, Cloud, Clouds, Covenant, Creature, Creatures, Eternal, Everlasting, Flesh, Kind, Mind, Rainbow, Remember, Soul
1. God blesses Noah and his sons, and grants them flesh for food.
4. Blood and murder are forbidden.
8. God's covenant, of which the rainbow was constituted a pledge.
18. Noah's family replenishes the world.
20. Noah plants a vineyard,
21. Is drunken, and mocked by his son;
25. Curses Canaan;
26. Blesses Shem;
27. Prays for Japheth, and dies.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Genesis 9:16

     8214   confidence, basis of
     8711   covenant breakers
     9136   immortality, OT

Genesis 9:1-17

     7203   ark, Noah's

Genesis 9:8-17

     1347   covenant, with Noah
     5467   promises, divine
     7227   flood, the

Genesis 9:12-16

     4007   creation, and God
     8467   reminders

Genesis 9:12-17

     1450   signs, kinds of
     4845   rainbow
     8764   forgetting God

Genesis 9:12-21

     5106   Noah

Genesis 9:13-16

     4805   clouds

Genesis 9:14-16

     4844   rain

Genesis 9:15-16

     8331   reliability

Genesis 9:16-17

     4203   earth, the

Capital Punishment
Eversley. Quinquagesima Sunday, 1872. Genesis ix. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6. "And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. . . . Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you . . . But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require: at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

Noah's Flood
(Quinquagesima Sunday.) GENESIS ix. 13. I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. We all know the history of Noah's flood. What have we learnt from that history? What were we intended to learn from it? What thoughts should we have about it? There are many thoughts which we may have. We may think how the flood came to pass; what means God used to make it rain forty days; what is meant by breaking up the fountains of the great deep. We may
Charles Kingsley—The Gospel of the Pentateuch

PSALM CIV. 20, 21. Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. The lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. Let me say a few words on this text. It is one which has been a comfort to me again and again. It is one which, if rightly understood, ought to give comfort to pitiful and tender-hearted persons. Have you never been touched by, never been even shocked by, the mystery of pain and death? I do not speak now of pain and death
Charles Kingsley—Westminster Sermons

Covenanting Enforced by the Grant of Covenant Signs and Seals.
To declare emphatically that the people of God are a covenant people, various signs were in sovereignty vouchsafed. The lights in the firmament of heaven were appointed to be for signs, affording direction to the mariner, the husbandman, and others. Miracles wrought on memorable occasions, were constituted signs or tokens of God's universal government. The gracious grant of covenant signs was made in order to proclaim the truth of the existence of God's covenant with his people, to urge the performance
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

That the Ruler Should Be, through Humility, a Companion of Good Livers, But, through the Zeal of Righteousness, Rigid against the vices of Evildoers.
The ruler should be, through humility, a companion of good livers, and, through the zeal of righteousness, rigid against the vices of evil-doers; so that in nothing he prefer himself to the good, and yet, when the fault of the bad requires it, he be at once conscious of the power of his priority; to the end that, while among his subordinates who live well he waives his rank and accounts them as his equals, he may not fear to execute the laws of rectitude towards the perverse. For, as I remember to
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

The Doctrine of Non-Resistance to Evil by Force Has Been Professed by a Minority of Men from the Very Foundation of Christianity. Of the Book "What
CHAPTER I. THE DOCTRINE OF NON-RESISTANCE TO EVIL BY FORCE HAS BEEN PROFESSED BY A MINORITY OF MEN FROM THE VERY FOUNDATION OF CHRISTIANITY. Of the Book "What I Believe"--The Correspondence Evoked by it-- Letters from Quakers--Garrison's Declaration--Adin Ballou, his Works, his Catechism--Helchitsky's "Net of Faith"--The Attitude of the World to Works Elucidating Christ's Teaching--Dymond's Book "On War"--Musser's "Non-resistance Asserted"--Attitude of the Government in 1818 to Men who Refused to
Leo Tolstoy—The Kingdom of God is within you

Original Righteousness.
"For in Him we live and move, and have our being: as certain also of your own poets have said. For we are also His offspring." --Acts xvii. 28. It is the peculiar characteristic of the Reformed Confession that more than any other it humbles the sinner and exalts the sinless man. To disparage man is unscriptural. Being a sinner, fallen and no longer a real man, he must be humbled, rebuked, and inwardly broken. But the divinely created man, realizing the divine purpose or restored by omnipotent grace
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Sixth Commandment
Thou shalt not kill.' Exod 20: 13. In this commandment is a sin forbidden, which is murder, Thou shalt not kill,' and a duty implied, which is, to preserve our own life, and the life of others. The sin forbidden is murder: Thou shalt not kill.' Here two things are to be understood, the not injuring another, nor ourselves. I. The not injuring another. [1] We must not injure another in his name. A good name is a precious balsam.' It is a great cruelty to murder a man in his name. We injure others in
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

Being Made Archbishop of Armagh, He Suffers Many Troubles. Peace Being Made, from Being Archbishop of Armagh He Becomes Bishop of Down.
[Sidenote: 1129] 19. (12). Meanwhile[365] it happened that Archbishop Cellach[366] fell sick: he it was who ordained Malachy deacon, presbyter and bishop: and knowing that he was dying he made a sort of testament[367] to the effect that Malachy ought to succeed him,[368] because none seemed worthier to be bishop of the first see. This he gave in charge to those who were present, this he commanded to the absent, this to the two kings of Munster[369] and to the magnates of the land he specially enjoined
H. J. Lawlor—St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

Mosaic Cosmogony.
ON the revival of science in the 16th century, some of the earliest conclusions at which philosophers arrived were found to be at variance with popular and long-established belief. The Ptolemaic system of astronomy, which had then full possession of the minds of men, contemplated the whole visible universe from the earth as the immovable centre of things. Copernicus changed the point of view, and placing the beholder in the sun, at once reduced the earth to an inconspicuous globule, a merely subordinate
Frederick Temple—Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World

Mount Zion.
"For ye are not come unto a mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that no word more should be spoken unto them: for they could not endure that which was enjoined, If even a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned; and so fearful was the appearance, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake: but ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto
Thomas Charles Edwards—The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews

Covenanting According to the Purposes of God.
Since every revealed purpose of God, implying that obedience to his law will be given, is a demand of that obedience, the announcement of his Covenant, as in his sovereignty decreed, claims, not less effectively than an explicit law, the fulfilment of its duties. A representation of a system of things pre-determined in order that the obligations of the Covenant might be discharged; various exhibitions of the Covenant as ordained; and a description of the children of the Covenant as predestinated
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Covenanting Predicted in Prophecy.
The fact of Covenanting, under the Old Testament dispensations, being approved of God, gives a proof that it was proper then, which is accompanied by the voice of prophecy, affording evidence that even in periods then future it should no less be proper. The argument for the service that is afforded by prophecy is peculiar, and, though corresponding with evidence from other sources, is independent. Because that God willed to make known truth through his servants the prophets, we should receive it
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

The Promise to the Patriarchs.
A great epoch is, in Genesis, ushered in with the history of the time of the Patriarchs. Luther says: "This is the third period in which Holy Scripture begins the history of the Church with a new family." In a befitting manner, the representation is opened in Gen. xii. 1-3 by an account of the first revelation of God, given to Abraham at Haran, in which the way is opened up for all that follows, and in which the dispensations of God are brought before us in a rapid survey. Abraham is to forsake
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Discourse on Spiritual Food and True Discipleship. Peter's Confession.
(at the Synagogue in Capernaum.) ^D John VI. 22-71. ^d 22 On the morrow [the morrow after Jesus fed the five thousand] the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea [on the east side, opposite Capernaum] saw that there was no other boat there, save one, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples went away alone 23 (howbeit there came boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they ate the bread after that the Lord had given thanks): 24 when the multitude
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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