Jan 05: Gen 9, 10 | Psa 11-13 | Matt 7

Reading 1 - Gen 9:13

" I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth" (Gen 9:13).

The Hebrew "qesheth" signifies "bending". God's rainbow was natural, conspicuous, universal, unique, and beautiful. It spoke of a permanent union between heaven and earth (Eze 1:28; Rev 4:3; 10:1).

The rainbow was composed of seven colors, symbolizing a complete revelation of God's glory (Num 14:21). It referred to the covenants of promise, and of adoption into commonwealth of Israel (Eph 2:12) -- through baptism into Christ: Gal 3:27,29, as obedience of faith: Rom 16:26.

In this scene of Rev 10:1 it was related to the promises of the Kingdom, the avenging of the Holy (Dan 8:14), the righteous wars of the saints (Psa 149), and the land of Israel (Lev 26:42).

The order of its colors also possesses a spiritual significance:

  • Red, always on outside = flesh;

  • Orange = fire of trials;

  • Yellow = refined faith (1Pe 1:7);

  • Green = renewal, resurrection;

  • Blue = godliness, heavenliness;

  • Indigo = royalty in Kingdom;

  • Violet, more perfect = royalty after Kingdom.

Thus by stages God's plan to fill the earth with His glory is fulfilled, and the red of man and the blue of heaven become perfectly united -- "God all in all."

Reading 2 - Psa 11:3

"When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psa 11:3).

The foundations of God's world are used as a figure of His solid and sure purpose with Israel (Isa 51:13; cp also Heb 11:10). The LXX reads: "What thou didst establish (as perfect), they have thrown down." According to Paul, God's purpose with the saints also rests on a sure foundation, having the guarantee that "the Lord knoweth them that are his" (2Ti 2:19). So, no matter what men might do for the moment, God is ultimately in control, and His judgment will at the last right all wrongs. In this profound sense, the true "foundations" can never really be undermined or destroyed.

Reading 3 - Mat 7:1,2

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Mat 7:1,2).

The context is the "parable" of the mote and the beam (vv 3-5). The saying is found in the rabbinical writings, and is an example of the caustic Jewish humor. It is not difficult to make the transition here from the case of individuals to that of ecclesias or "fellowship" groups. "With what measure we mete and with what judgment we judge, we shall ourselves individually and communally be assessed" (CMPA, The Christadelphian 109:12). Who belongs to a "perfect" (or even "near-perfect") group? Are there not always problems nearer to home to occupy the industrious brother, without the necessity of seeking to remove a "mote" from an ecclesial "eye" half-way round the world? We should never judge those in other "fellowships" more severely than we would wish to be judged in the weakest link of our own "fellowship". And if such judgment would make us wince, then perhaps we should re-evaluate our situation!

"The wonderful thing about the Speaker [of Mat 7:1,2] is that he himself is so clear-eyed! There is neither beam nor mote there! He can judge without 'hypocrisy'. And he will. 'The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son' (Joh 5:22). Whosoever therefore usurps this function is guilty of 'contempt of court', 'the court above'! Hence an apostle says to his brethren in the midst of their carnal jealousies and strifes: 'With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you... but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes...' (1Co 4:3-5)... Do not behave as though you sought your brother's damnation rather than his salvation. 'He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends' (Pro 17:9). Do not do it; God hates it!" (CC Walker, The Christadelphian 61:266).