WORD STUDY – THE RAINBOW – קושׁ
Genesis 9:16; “And the bow shall be in the cloud, and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”
I know I have done a couple studies on rainbows in the past, but then this is after all April and as we all know April flowers bring May showers, (or is April showers bring May flowers, oh well you get the point). Today is the last day of April and we are having showers in Chicago and on the way home from church I saw a big old rainbow.
I reflected on the various symbolisms that have been associated with rainbows in modern times. In 1978 an artist, Gilbert Baker, created the rainbow flag which was meant to express diversity. The LGBT quickly adopted it as their symbol. Prior to this the rainbow was a symbol for the New Age movement which gave it a spiritual meaning to represent the inner awakening caused by the shining through of light embedded in positive attributes such as truth and wisdom.
Yet, thousands of years before the LGBT and the New Ager hijacked the rainbow as their symbol. This was really a symbol of our Christian faith. However, we never really made much use of it so the LGBT and New Agers were free to snatch it away from us and we seemed to be content to let them have it. After all it was only a sign from God that He would not destroy the earth again by a flood and we have enough symbols anyways, a cross which is a barbaric and torturous form of execution, a fish symbolizing Greek letters that most Christians do not understand, a dove which does double duty as a symbol of peace and so forth. So let them have the rainbow.
Ok, I’m cool with that but at least let me show you what we have given up. Rainbows are special to us a blessed personal gift from God. The enemy has been very successful in stealing this gift from God and it is time we reclaim it, at least on a personal level. Let the others wave their rainbow flags on parades, but when we see a rainbow in the sky, sent from God, He is reminding us of something more special than diversity or pride.
I know you all learned in Sunday School it was given as a sign that God would not destroy the earth with floods again. Our neighbors down State may be questioning that today with their flash floods, but, of course God is talking of a worldwide flood.
What makes the rainbow such a beautiful gift from God? Let’s go to the source, the Word of God and examine Genesis 9:16. After God destroyed the world and all life except for the ones in the ark he sent a rainbow as a sign of his covenant to never destroy the earth by water again. The Bible does not call it a rainbow but just a bow. The word in the Hebrew is qis or qos. The Vav and Yod tend to be interchanged. However it is an archer’s term for the bow that he bends to shoot an arrow. In its Semitic root it simply means to be curved or bent. This is really referring to a bending in the sky. Rainbow is just a modern term as it is a colorful bow in the sky seen after the rain. For whatever reason the English puts the emphasis on rain.
The word qosh has its own built in commentary and when you examine its esoteric meaning you will see another even more important promise. What I found so shocked me I will never look at a rainbow the same again and I will embrace it as my own private, personal Christian Symbol.
The word in Hebrew for rainbow qos is spelled Qof, Vav, Sein. The Qof speaks to us of a sacrifice, the Vav tells us that this sacrifice will connect us to heaven and the Sein teaches us that this connection will bring us the passionate love of God. Just insert Jesus into this picture as the sacrifice and you are set to go. For you see God was telling us why He would never have to destroy the earth with a flood because He is sending His gos, His sacrifice that will connect us to heaven so we can enter into His passionate love. The rainbow is really the symbol of Jesus Himself.
I have a friend who had a really horrible day. She spent $700 to get her car repaired only to have it break down again on the way home from the mechanic, on top of that she was struggling with flu while sitting in a rain storm waiting for the tow truck. However when the storm cleared God sent a rainbow, she said He sent it just for her. I’ll buy that, it is a very private thing. She was instantly reminded of the sacrifice of her Savior so she could experience the passionate love of God. In the moments of her despair she opened herself up to that passionately love and received a double dose.
Had it not been for the gift of the rainbow she would not have been reminded in the midst of disaster of the God who loves her. You see there is really a treasure at the end of the rainbow, not a pot of gold but the love of God in Christ Jesus.