Vicar Matt Doebler
Matins Devotion: December 16, 2022
Here, in the fourth chapter of Revelation John is writing furiously trying to describe to us the wonder of this breathtaking vision of heaven’s throne room. One of the details that he describes is the presence of this emerald-like rainbow that encircles God’s throne. Contrary to the perverted meaning that our culture now wants to give to the rainbow, God established the rainbow as a sign of his grace and mercy. Though God punished the ancient world through a flood of water, afterward He set his bow in the sky as a sign that he would continue to graciously preserve the earth and all of its creatures. It was a sign that the Creator had not given up on his creation, but that he would ultimately bring about its cleansing—that after the judgment he would bring forth a new creation.
That’s what makes the presence of the rainbow here in John’s vision so comforting. Here, as John stands in the presence of the Lord God Almighty, as he listens to the four living creatures proclaim his holiness through a never ending song of praise, as he sees flashes of lighting and hears the peals of thunder that testify to the Lord’s awesome power and majesty, as he watches the twenty four elders cast their crowns at his feet and fall on their faces in worship—as John stands in the midst of all these reminders of God’s absolute authority as the King all of creation and the judge of every living creature—even then, the rainbow shines forth in heaven as a sign that the Lord God Almighty—the Holy One—is full of love and grace. That even the coming judgments that will be meted out upon the earth will be tempered by his great mercy and his never-ending desire for all men to repent and come to a knowledge of the truth.
I think this is why the devil hates the rainbow so much and why he has worked to hard in order to stir up the world to twist and pervert it into a symbol of human arrogance. The devil hates the rainbow, because it is a sign that he is conquered. That sin and rebellion do not have the final word. That God is able to preserve those who belong to him even through the most severe judgement. That there is coming a day on which the nations will gather in worship around God’s throne and worship the Creator who has made all things new.