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Symbolic meaning of the rainbow

20 Aug 2019, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Doctrines

The rainbow colour flag representing the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community is undoubtedly an amazing combination of colours to behold. The aesthetic appeal of this natural phenomenon that reflects God’s astonishing work may have informed their choice of it as a symbol; this is certainly not to disregard any other history behind the LGBT flag; I truly appreciate the rainbow beauty. However, I wish to look beyond the rainbow flag in the hands of the LGBT community to picture the rainbow spread across the sky by the finger of God.

The rainbow signifies for me a divine establishment of a covenantal relationship between heaven and earth, a covenant that reached its climax in Jesus Christ who ‘covered’ the face of the earth with his Precious Blood to save those who believe in his salvific mission.

It is my conviction that it is not out of place to say that the superlative beauty of the rainbow mirrors the excellence of God’s creation; “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” Psalm 8:3-4. Even though in anger God once wiped away the face of the earth by flood, but in mercy, he vowed not to repeat it; “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between you and me and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember the covenant that is between you and me and every living creature of all flesh; and the water shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” Gen. 9:12-15.

The rainbow is a symbol of a divine covenant; the scientific explanation of its formation does not in any way deny the activities of nature at work at the directives of God. He said, “I have set my bow in the clouds,” Gen. 9:13. The rainbow is of God and does not reflect the Godless, for God himself encourage the future generation to continue to see in its appearance the constant reminder of the divine faithfulness. Any attempt to redefined or give the rainbow a new identity will amount to desecration, distortion of truth, and an attempt to misguide the future generation.

The rainbow flag in the hands of the LGBT community may mean something particular and personal to them. Still, the rainbow spread across the sky by the mighty fingers of God enkindles in believers the assurance of divine faithfulness and the glory of God.

The sexual revolution sweeping across our societies with the tendencies of redefining the significance of the rainbow for our children must be non-violently resisted. Stand for your faith, defend it, and hand it over to your children.