“And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.
And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; Neither shall there anymore be a flood to destroy the earth.
And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth.
And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
And I will remember my covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
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 all the earth.
And God said unto Noah, this is the token of the covenant, which I have established between Me and all flesh that is upon earth. Genesis 9:8-17
From Noah's days, after the flood and for millenniums of time, most people in every generation, throughout the world, have had some knowledge of, or belief in the covenant that God made with mankind concerning His absolute promise to never again bring a universal flood upon the earth.
Throughout history God has dealt with man through covenants or agreements. Later the Jews regarded this covenant between God and Noah as the basis of the relationship between God and all of mankind, but the covenants with Abraham and with Moses at Mount Sinai were seen as forming the basis of God's special relationship with Israel.
Of course the rainbow takes its place among religions other than the Christian and the Judaic religions and means more than the simple truth that God clearly stated in His Word. The rainbow has taken its place also in mythology.
There is also a place for those that can't believe there is a God that exists, they can simply stand on the scientific data, that a rainbow is an optical and meteorological phenomenon that causes a spectrum of light to appear in the sky when the sun shines on the droplets of moisture in the earth's atmosphere. Rainbows are one of the most beautiful spectacles nature has to offer. The rainbow speaks to me about God's faithfulness to His creation as well as the faithfulness of His Word.
The rainbow that is in the picture above was taken in January of 2010 from a prayer ministry residence that was established on December 7, 2009 in Rechavia, Jerusalem. The large building in the center of the rainbow is the Israeli Knesset. On the day the picture was taken I was the only one at the residence.
I was at the other end of the residence in the master bedroom in intercessory prayer moments before this picture was taken. While in the third hour of prayer I felt that I should get off my knees while continuing to pray and walk around to give my back a little break.
I walked out to the living room and stood by the glass doors that led out to the terrace. I was praying for those in the Knesset and especially lifting up Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I felt the pressure he had to be under concerning Iran's nuclear ambitions and the tough decisions that he had to make for the country.
While looking at the Knesset and lifting the Prime Minister up to the God of Israel, it began raining so hard I could not even see the railing that went around the terrace. It was surreal, there was no rain, then in seconds, it was like the sky had opened up and a fury of water came down. I continued to pray and in about 10 minutes the rain stopped as quickly as it had started, as if a faucet had been turned off.
Now, in place of the rain, there was this beautiful rainbow right over the Knesset. While still praying in the Spirit, I turned to my left to go back to the master bedroom to grab my camera, but to my surprise, I saw my camera in the big chair right next to where I was standing. I had forgotten to put the camera away the day before. I hadn't noticed the camera as I walked through the living room and up to the glass doors because I was praying and had my eyes focused on the Knesset. I quickly opened the door and took several pictures, shut the door and continued praying while still looking at the rainbow over the Knesset.
The moment was so inspirational to me for a couple of reasons. First, because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a key prayer directive along with those in the Knesset that had to stand with him. Secondly, because I wanted to know in my heart if the Rechavia residence was where the Lord wanted me to be for the next intercessory prayer mandate.
While still praying, looking at the rainbow and having these inspirational thoughts, I was feeling that the God of Israel was not only confirming that the intercession I was accomplishing was exactly what He wanted me to do, but that He was also confirming that Rechavia was the place that I should return to when I came back to Jerusalem.
If that wasn't enough, several minutes had passed, and I could still see the rainbow. Suddenly, another torrential downpour came and lasted for about ten minutes. The rainbow was gone, but I continued to pray. I was feeling a little disappointed that I wasn't able to see the rainbow any more, but I felt very satisfied that I was able to take a picture to remind me of God's faithfulness.
I stayed right there at the door continuing to pray and when the rain finally stopped, there was another rainbow. By two or three witnesses shall a thing be established.
I returned to the Rechavia residence and fulfilled a 55 week intercessory prayer mandate from May 1, 2010 until May 21, 2011. Thousands of people have seen this picture on the Jerusalem web site and on Facebook, but never really knew the story behind the picture, and now I will take a line from the great Paul Harvey, “Now, you know the rest of the story.” What a Mighty God we serve!
Bishop Greg Stevenson