(This poem was first shared in 2019 and is being republished with added postscript.)
Light. In a thousand pieces torn, Hung among the clouds of gray, A colorful and bright display, A rainbow is reborn.
It seems to be something of a spiritual axiom that it is through our own brokenness and suffering, as we allow the light of the Lord’s love and truth to shine through us, that Christians become most capable of reflecting the beauty and the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Albert B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, was no stranger to affliction and gave the following exhortation in one of his daily devotional readings.
“Let us set our faces toward the sun rising, and use the clouds that come to make rainbows. Not much longer shall we have glorious opportunity to rejoice in tribulation and learn patience. In heaven we shall have nothing to teach us long-suffering. If we do not learn it here, we shall be without our brightest crown forever and wish ourselves back for a little while in the very circumstances of which we are now trying so hard to rid ourselves.”
“Let us set our faces toward the sun rising, and use the clouds that come to make rainbows.”A. B. Simpson
The book of Genesis records the rainbow as being given by God to signify the covenant that He was making with Noah to never again destroy all the world by flood as judgment for the grievous sin and terrible wickedness of mankind.
“I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.”Genesis Chapter 9, verse 11-13
The curse of sin is such a pernicious plague, however, that it was carried by Noah and his family right onto the ark. In fact, it persists right to this day, infecting each one of us, being plainly exhibited by our first utterance of the word “mine,” even while we are yet in diapers.
It has been pointed out that the “bow” was one of the principal weapons in ancient times, and the bow that God placed in the clouds has ever pointed upward toward the heavens, foreshadowing the day that He, out of love for His covenant bride, would bear the penalty of sin on behalf of all those who would one day repent and put their trust in Him for their forgiveness.
Of course the symbolism of the rainbow saw its fulfillment in the atoning death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, broken and poured out on the cross of Calvary two thousand years ago. Through His sacrifice, the light of truth shone forth, refracted into every glorious hue of God’s righteousness and mercy, justice, grace, and love.
Then rising again, He defeated death, and ascended into the very clouds that host the rainbow, as He returned to heaven where He is now seated on His throne in glory. I believe that it is no coincidence that it would later be revealed that His throne is surrounded by a rainbow!
“Behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.”The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Chapter 4, verses 2 – 3
There He reigns, until that great and terrible day when He will return on the clouds of heaven, with the holy angels, in power and great glory. He will put the last of His enemies underneath His feet, bring the dead back to life, and execute the final judgement of the great and the small, “the quick and the dead.”
All whom He knows, those whose names are written in His book of life, will thereafter dwell with Him bodily, eternally, in His glorious kingdom. And all He knows not, those whose names are not found, will be cast bodily, like so much rubbish, into the lake of fire where “the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever.”
“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. … And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Chapter 20, verses 12 and 15
Two destinies, and only two, await each mortal man. Repent and trust in Jesus Christ, while as of yet you can. And find forgiveness, full and free, and joy that can't be spoken, And know the Love you've never known, The God who once was broken.
All other content: © Craig Sabin 2021 All rights reserved