Rainbows, Circumcision, Sabbath

What does a rainbow, circumcision, and the Sabbath have in common?  Today I looked up ‘sign of the covenant’ in my lexicon and three verses popped up.

1.  Genesis 9:12 “And Adonai 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 ….”

This sign of covenant was given to Noah after the flood.  It was made between the Creator and all mankind.  It was a rainbow. The rainbow is a beautiful reminder of the Creator’s faithfulness for all generations.

2. Genesis 17:11 “You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.”

This sign of covenant was given to Abraham.  It was made between El Shaddai and a man of faith. The sign of faith was circumcision.   Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.   Abraham is called the father of  faith for both the Jew and the nations who have put their faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Romans 4).

Paul explained the deeper meaning of  circumcision in Romans chapter 2 when he says that “true circumcision is not of the flesh but of the heart.”  It was the condition of Abraham’s heart that brought forth the sign.

3:  Exodus 31:13 “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths.  They will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I AM YHWH, who makes you holy.”

This sign of covenant was given to the Israelites.  It was made between God and His people of covenant.  It was the sign that would show them they are set apart to the One they called ‘I AM.’   It was not a sign for the nations around them, but a sign between them – the mixed multitude that was redeemed out of Egypt – and Yahweh who set them apart from all other nations as his cherished possession.

What does a rainbow, circumcision and Sabbath have in common?  They are all signs that prove one is in covenant relationship with the Covenant Maker.

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