When the waters of the flood had subsided in Genesis 8
, Noah prepared a burnt offering to the Lord.
He took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird, and made an offering that was pleasing to God. When the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, He vowed to never again curse the ground because of man. The intention of evil is within a man's heart even from his youth. God vowed never again to strike down every living creature. While the earth remains, God vowed not to cease the seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, or day and night.
Then God blessed Noah and his sons. He told them to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. Every beast of the earth and bird of the skies would fear mankind, as well as the creeping things and fish of the sea.
Every moving thing that lives is to be food for mankind, just as the green plants were given. God required that they not eat any animal with its blood still in it, for the blood was its life.
God said that for the lifeblood of mankind, there would be required a reckoning. Any man that sheds the blood of another man would die from the shedding of his own blood. For God made man in his own image.
God reminded them to be fruitful and multiply. He said to increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.
Then God said to both Noah and his sons, "Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you -- as many as came out of the ark. The covenant is for every beast of the earth."
God said that never again would all flesh be cut off from existence by the waters of the flood, and never again would a flood destroy the earth. God set his bow in the cloud as a sign of the covenant between Him and the earth. When the clouds come over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, He would remember his covenant that is between Him and all living flesh.
God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth."
As Christians, we should ask ourselves: Have we forgotten this part of the story, the part where God gave mankind a fresh and new beginning? Do we fear the impending destruction of the evil of the earth, or do we rejoice because we will again have a fresh and new beginning? Why do we not cry out unto God for the sinners of this world, knowing that all mankind have evil in their hearts from their youths -- even ourselves? When we see a rainbow, do we simply see a pretty color in the sky, or do we recognize that this is the sign of God's covenant to mankind?