I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ge 9:11–17). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
God created a covenant with Noah — it was a binding agreement sovereignly initiated, but with obligations and promises on the part of both.
If the descendants of Noah are fruitful, multiple, keep the earth, and respect life, God will never destroy the earth again. God keeps his promises. The covenant of Noah lasts even to today. God’s promises are without expiration.
We will have seasons and harvests and life in relationship with our creator.
Every covenant in the Bible has a sign, a seal, or a sacrament. In the Garden of Eden, it was the Tree of Life, from which Adam and Eve could eat as long as they remained in their covenantal relationship.
Think of the sign and seal of this covenant. It is a rainbow. To us, it is a symbol of beauty fixed in the sky. But in Noah’s age, the bow was the weapon. And in the beauty of the rainbow, we find an instrument of death.
But look at it. The bow points up to Heaven. It foreshadows who will suffer the penalty. The arrow will aim at Christ and through him we find our redemption. Even after catastrophe God signals to us that there will be victory and he will accomplish that victory for us.