“I will remember”
This verse is one of the handful of times that God uses the words, “I will remember.” And would you believe that every one of those times, what God remembers is the same thing? “I will remember My covenant.” Don’t you just love that He forgets our sins, (Hebrews 8:12, Jeremiah 31:34) but He remembers His covenant with His people? But what struck me about this passage is not what God is remembering, but when. But we’ll come back to that.
The covenant that God is remembering here is His covenant with Noah. Noah and his family have disembarked — get it?? disembark?? Did you know the word “disembark” actually comes from the Latin word for “boat”? Okay, let’s focus again…
Noah and his family have landed and disembarked, and God is now establishing His covenant with Noah and his descendants (that means you!) that never again will a flood destroy the earth. But He goes one step further with His promise. He sets His rainbow in the clouds, as a sign of that covenant.
I know this story well, and so of course, whenever I see a rainbow, I think of the story of Noah and I remember that promise. But I only get to see a rainbow a handful of times a year, which of course makes it such a treat. I can’t be the only one who goes outside when the conditions look right, for the express purpose of finding a rainbow And I love how the rainbow is always in the darkest part of the sky. God knows all about contrast, doesn’t He?
But now come back to the idea of “when”. Because the “when”, for me, is that handful of times a year. Or once a day, when I was visiting Kauai…
But what God said is, “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I remember My covenant between me and you and all living creatures.” Whenever a rainbow appears, God remembers. I wonder how often there’s a rainbow in the sky, somewhere on earth. I know that sometimes a rainbow can be seen only in a small area, so there could be some near me at times I don’t even know it. But He does. He knows every time a rainbow appears anywhere on earth, and that is way more than a handful of times a year. How frequent must rainbows be in the rainforest, or any place rainier than where I live? And then the realization forms in my mind that if He remembers that covenant every time a rainbow appears, then He must be constantly remembering.
I find that very reassuring. And very beautiful.