The Rainbow Covenant

What do you think of when you see a rainbow in the sky? Did you know that the rainbow is a reminder of one of God's unbreakable promises? The past few months I’ve been studying the Old Testament and I discovered something quite amazing. It has to do with God’s covenants. A covenant is a solemn promise. In its perfect form, it is an unbreakable contract. At the very least it is a firm promise with severe consequences if it is broken. There are actually several covenants in the Bible. Let’s take the next few weeks to look at the ones God made with humans. The last one is the most amazing, but let’s see how we got to that point.

What Happened

After God made the world and everything in it, humans disobeyed God and sinned. People have been making bad choices and sinning ever since. Right off the bat, people got so bad that God decided to destroy the whole earth. He sent a Great Flood that covered the entire earth and killed everything on the dry land. The only survivors were Noah, his family, and the animals with them in the ark (see Genesis 6:1 – 8:20). Noah, his family, and the animals stayed on the ark a full year before the Great Flood subsided and they were able to leave the ark on dry ground once again. Can you imagine being trapped on a big boat with your family and an entire zoo?

The Rainbow Covenant (a.k.a. the Noah Covenant)

After they left the boat, Noah worshiped God and thanked Him for saving them from dying in the Great Flood. That is when God made a covenant (an unbreakable promise) with humankind.
11 “I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 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: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 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. 16 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.” 17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” Genesis 9:11-17 (NIV)

Review Questions

  • What did God make a covenant (an unbreakable promise) to never do again?
  • What did God make to remind Himself and humans of this covenant?
  • Has God flooded the entire earth at the same time since the days of Noah?
  • Has God kept His covenant (firm promise) so far?


It is so exciting seeing a rainbow after the rain! Next time you see a rainbow, either in the sky or in something people made, remind your family that God always keeps His promises, just like the promise He made to Noah.


Heavenly Father, thank You that You always keep Your promises. Remind us this week of Your faithfulness. Show us ways You continue to keep Your promises today. We love You, Lord Jesus! Amen.
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