RAINBOWS AND MOUNTAINTOPS
To give HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT with the knowledge that God is in control and He cares! To give HONOR and GLORY to our Lord Jesus Christ! Be Blessed!
The name, “Rainbows and Mountaintops”, that I have chosen for this writing reminds me of God’s Promises and His Provisions, that no matter how deep and dark the Valley that life is taking us through, we will eventually climb up to the Mountaintop and know that God provides whatever it is that we need. The pastor of my church recently was preaching about Restoration, and he made the statement that God doesn’t promise to lead us around Valleys, but He will lead us through them. That is so true because God not only provides what we need but He also goes through it with us. I like to think of it as God holding my hand as I walk through that storm in the Valley. The soil in the Valley is fertile, and if we have the right attitude, we can learn so much in going through it. Once we get through the situation that we are contending, we should be able to look back and be thankful for ever going through that dark Valley in our life.
In the Bible in John 16:33, Jesus said, “…. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” No matter how bad the storms of life, we can count on seeing that rainbow when the storm is over and remember God loves us and He keeps His Promises!
Someone I know once said, “In order to enjoy the beauty of a rainbow, you have to go through a storm.” How true that is with our lives. It is a wonderful thing to remember that God is always there, and we should be able to say each day: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O Lord save us; O Lord, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord, we bless you. The Lord is God, and he has made His light shine upon us.” (Psalm 118:24-27a, NIV)
There have been and still are times in my life that I am not always able to say that, but I am growing to depend upon the Lord, not only in the dark days, but also in the bright, sunny days. It is then that we can honestly say, “This is the day which the Lord hath made. . .” If we depend on God for His Provision, we will not only grow closer to Him during adversities and times of trial, but we will also keep close to Him in the joyful days. “for he hath said, ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee’.” (Hebrews 13:5b, KJV)
THAT’S A PROMISE!
BIBLICAL REFERENCES TO RAINBOWS
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come. I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” (Genesis 9:12-17, NIV)
Covenant Sign – Reason for Rainbows
Throughout the Bible, God makes covenant agreements with the people He loves. While later covenants applied specifically to the Israelites, this one extended and still extends to every living creature.
The Rainbow is:
♦ a colored arc in the sky
♦ a “bow in the cloud”, according to the Bible (KJV)
♦ the sign of the Noahic Covenant which declared God would never again send a flood to destroy the entire earth.
♦ the first of the covenant signs
♦ the Lord’s promise made visible
Prophecy in the New Testament
The Throne of Heaven: “And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.” (Revelations 4:3, NIV)
The Angel: “Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were fiery pillars.” (Revelations 10:1, NIV)
The Glory of the Lord
“I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like flowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.” (Ezekiel 1:27-28, NIV)
Biblical References to Mountains
Mountains have played an awesome part in God’s dealings with man – Mount Moriah, Mount Zion, Mount Carmel, Mount Sinai, and the Mount of Olives. There are numerous cases of the Lord’s Provision for His People connected with mountains. I will attempt to show you some of those times.
The Lord is faithful!
The Lord Will Provide
The entire chapter of Genesis 22 tells about the testing of Abraham. God told Abraham to take his only son, Isaac, and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that He would tell him about (Mount Moriah). Abraham obeyed God and took Isaac with him. Isaac even inquired of his father about where the lamb for the burnt offering was. Abraham answered his son by saying, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” (Genesis 22:8a, NIV)
After they reached the top of the mountain and built the altar for the sacrifice, Abraham bound Isaac and laid him on the altar. When he was about to slay his son as a sacrifice, the angel of the Lord called out to him to stop. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:12b, NIV) Abraham then saw a ram caught in a thicket and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. “So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.'” (Genesis 22:14, NIV)
The Ten Commandments
In Exodus 19:3, the Bible says, “Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, ‘This is what you are to tell the people of Israel.'” Exodus 19:20 states, “The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain.” This all preceded the Lord’s giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses in Exodus 20.
The Mountain of the Lord
“In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains. . . Many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob.'” (Micah :1a, 2a NIV)
Sermon on the Mount
“Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down.” (Matthew 5:1, NIV)
In Chapters 5, 6, & 7 of Matthew, you will find the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus gave the beatitudes and other teachings.
Song of Praise to the Lord
“Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth. . . let them shout from the mountaintops.”: (Isaiah 42:10a, 11b NIV)
Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
Golgotha, the Place of the Skull, which means Calvary, was the site where God provided the Perfect Sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, for the salvation of anyone who will accept Him as Savior. The site may have been a small hill that looked like a skull. (Mark 15:22 NIV)
Stability of God – He is our Rock, Our Protector
Psalm 125 says, “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore.”