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A Rainbow Promise

Genesis 8:15-22; 9:8-17; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 105-107


The Message

God’s people rejoice because He cares for them.

Memory Verse

“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” (Genesis 9:15).

Has it ever rained for many days where you live? Were you getting tired of playing indoors? How did you feel when you finally saw the sun come out? Could you go out again? If so, you will understand how Noah and his family felt when they finally left the ark.


After more than a year in the ark, it must have been wonderful to leave it. Noah’s family stepped out into the clean, sweet air. They stood and smiled in the warm, welcoming sunshine. It was probably a bit scary, too. The world looked so different, and it was so quiet. The eight people who walked off the ark were the only people left on the entire earth. They were starting over, alone and together.

Soon the animals were freed. Noah’s family must have seen their joy and excitement. They must have laughed as the animals pranced and danced.

When the ark was empty, the first thing Noah did was build an altar and have family worship. God was pleased by their worship and blessed the family. He said, “Be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it” (Genesis 9:7).

Then God gave Noah, his sons, and every generation yet to come a promise. Brilliant colors splashed across the sky in what was surely the most perfect rainbow ever. That first arch of color in the heavens must have filled the tiny family with awe and wonder. But it was more than just a beautiful display of color. It was a rainbow promise! For God said to Noah, “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. . . . 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” (Genesis 9:13-16).

God knew the sight of clouds might frighten Noah’s family in the days ahead. The splatter of the first raindrops might fill these survivors with fear. Would it be the start of another flood? Would they, too, be wiped off the earth? No. They didn’t need to worry. God had given them His promise.

This one special family had been through a lot together. For more than a year they had worked together on the ark. For long days and nights they had drifted together on an endless ocean. They had worked hard to care for all those animals. And now they were to resettle the earth and start over. God had given them something very precious. He gave them the experience of the rainbow to share. It would be a blessing and a promise to treasure forever—for them and for us.

We, too, belong to a special family. Our family of believers includes those in our churches and schools, as well as our families at home. And we, too, have been given a special work to do. We will go through a lot together over the years. And the experiences we share will bring us closer together.

And God has given us our own “rainbows” —blessings and promises. He will help us do what He has asked. Noah’s family was well cared for inside and outside the ark. They were thankful to God for His love and protection.

When you see a rainbow, think of God’s love for you. And thank Him for keeping His rainbow promise—and all His promises.