Rainbows…A picture I took

Rainbow

What is the scientific nature of a rainbow?  If you really want to know, click here.  What is interesting to me is the question of whether or not the law of physics to refract light existed.  What was it that blocked people before Noah and the flood from seeing rainbows that are readily seen from garden hose spray?  Were the eyes of people covered with a polarized lens that made the rainbows of their day disappear?  Did the earth, as some creation scientists claim, exist with a cloud covering the entire earth so that rainbows were not possible?  All these are good questions.  It is possible that any of these or something else could have been the one or one billion things that God did to make it possible that when Noah saw that first rainbow it was amazing.

This whole line of thought is really an example of how something so wondrous as a rainbow can be reduced to a scientific explanation.  Light refraction happens.  So what?  Well, there is something in each of us that when we see a rainbow, all science ceases and our soul becomes enthralled.  Deep within our soul we feel the Creator saying, "Look, I’m here and I made this rainbow..isn’t it cool!?"  What we cannot stand is that God really is God and are forced to accept that He is in control of things that we cannot fully explain.  Sure, you can explain light refraction, but can you explain why every human is so moved by the sight of a rainbow?

In northern California, we have two seasons.  Wet ( some of winter to spring) and dry (summer and fall hardly any rain falls if any).  So, when we see rainbows here, it usually comes after days or even weeks of rain.  This picture I took is really only one of several.  The rainbow above was in my front yard.  I just could not help myself!  It was like God decided to paint the sky and show off.  What style my God has!  What power, to change the law of physics to make a sign of His promise to never flood us again.  (Genesis 9:13-16)  I hope I never lose the childlike sense of wonder.

So, what is your take–do you see the law of physics change, a canopy cloud or cool RayBan’s that are polarized being the reason people before Noah could not see a rainbow?  Or, did they never exist before Noah?

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

20 comments

  1. I’m in a different camp. The camp that believes that everything pre-Abraham in the book of Genesis is not to be taken literally. It’s really quite different from everything Abraham and after. The theology is quite correct (e.g. in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth), but it’s not to be taken as history (e.g. the earth created in seven days).

  2. I’m in a different camp. The camp that believes that everything pre-Abraham in the book of Genesis is not to be taken literally. It’s really quite different from everything Abraham and after. The theology is quite correct (e.g. in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth), but it’s not to be taken as history (e.g. the earth created in seven days).

  3. I’m in a different camp. The camp that believes that everything pre-Abraham in the book of Genesis is not to be taken literally. It’s really quite different from everything Abraham and after. The theology is quite correct (e.g. in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth), but it’s not to be taken as history (e.g. the earth created in seven days).

  4. I’m in a different camp. The camp that believes that everything pre-Abraham in the book of Genesis is not to be taken literally. It’s really quite different from everything Abraham and after. The theology is quite correct (e.g. in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth), but it’s not to be taken as history (e.g. the earth created in seven days).

  5. Hi Derek and thanks for your post.
    I think what is obviously literal is the promise that we would never be flooded again–if one agrees with this, there is no reason to object to a “first” rainbow. And, I think that the biblical view of God is that He is capable of certainly changing the law of physics that He created or suspending them. In other words, we can’t pick and choose one thing to be literal and another not to be. The Jesus Seminar people have a whole Bible that is color coded to erase things that they think Jesus did not say since they do not believe in His miracles. Where do you draw the line on what is lieteral and not, then?

    Of course, I see that literal needs to be defined. There are “old earth” creationists who take the Bible very literally–just use proper language with the word for “day” which could mean other things than a 24-hour period.

  6. Hi Derek and thanks for your post.
    I think what is obviously literal is the promise that we would never be flooded again–if one agrees with this, there is no reason to object to a “first” rainbow. And, I think that the biblical view of God is that He is capable of certainly changing the law of physics that He created or suspending them. In other words, we can’t pick and choose one thing to be literal and another not to be. The Jesus Seminar people have a whole Bible that is color coded to erase things that they think Jesus did not say since they do not believe in His miracles. Where do you draw the line on what is lieteral and not, then?

    Of course, I see that literal needs to be defined. There are “old earth” creationists who take the Bible very literally–just use proper language with the word for “day” which could mean other things than a 24-hour period.

  7. Hi Derek and thanks for your post.
    I think what is obviously literal is the promise that we would never be flooded again–if one agrees with this, there is no reason to object to a “first” rainbow. And, I think that the biblical view of God is that He is capable of certainly changing the law of physics that He created or suspending them. In other words, we can’t pick and choose one thing to be literal and another not to be. The Jesus Seminar people have a whole Bible that is color coded to erase things that they think Jesus did not say since they do not believe in His miracles. Where do you draw the line on what is lieteral and not, then?

    Of course, I see that literal needs to be defined. There are “old earth” creationists who take the Bible very literally–just use proper language with the word for “day” which could mean other things than a 24-hour period.

  8. Hi Derek and thanks for your post.
    I think what is obviously literal is the promise that we would never be flooded again–if one agrees with this, there is no reason to object to a “first” rainbow. And, I think that the biblical view of God is that He is capable of certainly changing the law of physics that He created or suspending them. In other words, we can’t pick and choose one thing to be literal and another not to be. The Jesus Seminar people have a whole Bible that is color coded to erase things that they think Jesus did not say since they do not believe in His miracles. Where do you draw the line on what is lieteral and not, then?

    Of course, I see that literal needs to be defined. There are “old earth” creationists who take the Bible very literally–just use proper language with the word for “day” which could mean other things than a 24-hour period.

  9. Think of it this way — to understand the history of Israel, you also must understand their pre-history. If we weren’t Christians, we’d have no problem simply calling it what it is, and that’s Israel’s mythology. It doesn’t make them untrue, it simply makes them not history.
    Do I believe God created everything? Absolutely. Do I believe that Genesis describes *how* He created it, in scientific terms? Absolutely not. Yes, our God has the power to change the rules of physics. But the first few chapters of Genesis are incredibly unique in the Bible, in that they are not history. They are the background necessary to understand the history of Israel.

    In any case, it doesn’t really matter. I think we’d do better to concentrate on taking care of the orphans and widows than we do about how creation is taught in our schools, if we really want to advance the kingdom.

  10. Think of it this way — to understand the history of Israel, you also must understand their pre-history. If we weren’t Christians, we’d have no problem simply calling it what it is, and that’s Israel’s mythology. It doesn’t make them untrue, it simply makes them not history.
    Do I believe God created everything? Absolutely. Do I believe that Genesis describes *how* He created it, in scientific terms? Absolutely not. Yes, our God has the power to change the rules of physics. But the first few chapters of Genesis are incredibly unique in the Bible, in that they are not history. They are the background necessary to understand the history of Israel.

    In any case, it doesn’t really matter. I think we’d do better to concentrate on taking care of the orphans and widows than we do about how creation is taught in our schools, if we really want to advance the kingdom.

  11. Think of it this way — to understand the history of Israel, you also must understand their pre-history. If we weren’t Christians, we’d have no problem simply calling it what it is, and that’s Israel’s mythology. It doesn’t make them untrue, it simply makes them not history.
    Do I believe God created everything? Absolutely. Do I believe that Genesis describes *how* He created it, in scientific terms? Absolutely not. Yes, our God has the power to change the rules of physics. But the first few chapters of Genesis are incredibly unique in the Bible, in that they are not history. They are the background necessary to understand the history of Israel.

    In any case, it doesn’t really matter. I think we’d do better to concentrate on taking care of the orphans and widows than we do about how creation is taught in our schools, if we really want to advance the kingdom.

  12. Think of it this way — to understand the history of Israel, you also must understand their pre-history. If we weren’t Christians, we’d have no problem simply calling it what it is, and that’s Israel’s mythology. It doesn’t make them untrue, it simply makes them not history.
    Do I believe God created everything? Absolutely. Do I believe that Genesis describes *how* He created it, in scientific terms? Absolutely not. Yes, our God has the power to change the rules of physics. But the first few chapters of Genesis are incredibly unique in the Bible, in that they are not history. They are the background necessary to understand the history of Israel.

    In any case, it doesn’t really matter. I think we’d do better to concentrate on taking care of the orphans and widows than we do about how creation is taught in our schools, if we really want to advance the kingdom.

  13. Hi Derek,
    Orphans and widows, indeed, are part of what God values and hopes we represent His heart in those matters. (BTW–I would never advocate secular schools to teach faith). As far as mythology, Christianity from the beginning has accepted the Tora as an authoritative part of the canon. Just because the early Genesis passages were originally “oral tradition” does not mean they are mythology. But, no reason to debate that with you. I am just stating my view.

    What point I am attempting here is that we are seduced to strip ourselves of the wonder of who God is by either putting Him into a box, explaining away difficult passages or diverting our attention to a life of a hollow religion. We want control. We want to define God and not let Him define Himself. The mystery of the rainbow and the Genesis account of creation, for that matter, are there to reveal who God is. A God who is in control.

    A God who inspires wonder!

  14. Hi Derek,
    Orphans and widows, indeed, are part of what God values and hopes we represent His heart in those matters. (BTW–I would never advocate secular schools to teach faith). As far as mythology, Christianity from the beginning has accepted the Tora as an authoritative part of the canon. Just because the early Genesis passages were originally “oral tradition” does not mean they are mythology. But, no reason to debate that with you. I am just stating my view.

    What point I am attempting here is that we are seduced to strip ourselves of the wonder of who God is by either putting Him into a box, explaining away difficult passages or diverting our attention to a life of a hollow religion. We want control. We want to define God and not let Him define Himself. The mystery of the rainbow and the Genesis account of creation, for that matter, are there to reveal who God is. A God who is in control.

    A God who inspires wonder!

  15. Hi Derek,
    Orphans and widows, indeed, are part of what God values and hopes we represent His heart in those matters. (BTW–I would never advocate secular schools to teach faith). As far as mythology, Christianity from the beginning has accepted the Tora as an authoritative part of the canon. Just because the early Genesis passages were originally “oral tradition” does not mean they are mythology. But, no reason to debate that with you. I am just stating my view.

    What point I am attempting here is that we are seduced to strip ourselves of the wonder of who God is by either putting Him into a box, explaining away difficult passages or diverting our attention to a life of a hollow religion. We want control. We want to define God and not let Him define Himself. The mystery of the rainbow and the Genesis account of creation, for that matter, are there to reveal who God is. A God who is in control.

    A God who inspires wonder!

  16. Hi Derek,
    Orphans and widows, indeed, are part of what God values and hopes we represent His heart in those matters. (BTW–I would never advocate secular schools to teach faith). As far as mythology, Christianity from the beginning has accepted the Tora as an authoritative part of the canon. Just because the early Genesis passages were originally “oral tradition” does not mean they are mythology. But, no reason to debate that with you. I am just stating my view.

    What point I am attempting here is that we are seduced to strip ourselves of the wonder of who God is by either putting Him into a box, explaining away difficult passages or diverting our attention to a life of a hollow religion. We want control. We want to define God and not let Him define Himself. The mystery of the rainbow and the Genesis account of creation, for that matter, are there to reveal who God is. A God who is in control.

    A God who inspires wonder!

  17. Interesting, because I think that by accurately understanding the creation account, and the rest of the pre-history found in Genesis, it actually brings more wonder to the story of how God took this little group of people and turned them into His people.
    Maybe mythology is too strong of a word, but anyone from the outside looking in, would see everything pre-Abraham as mythology, and everything Abraham and onward as history.

    “Epic” might be the proper word, from a scholarly standpoint (it doesn’t imply that it’s untrue, just that it’s oral tradition).

    But our attempts to turn these epics into scientific and historical accounts put God into our own box, I would say. And further, when we ascribe an incorrect emphasis on the passages (creation as scientific truth), we lose the real importance of the passage (creation as theological truth).

    It’s like the passage where the Bible basically describes PI as 3. That passage was used as scientific evidence for years, though it was clearly incorrect. The question is, what is the passage intended to describe? Scientific truth? How God created the world? Or theological truth? The fact that he actually created the world?

    By the way, my wife hates it when she notices a pretty sunset, and I start to talk about why the colors pop out so amazingly. Same thing with rainbows. Refraction of light is a pretty cool thing, both on an intellectual level as well as an aesthetic one. The Bible is the same way — there are elements that you might miss out on, if you fail to approach it analytically. Viewing the first part of Genesis as part of Israel’s mythology doesn’t lessen the appeal of the Bible, it enhances it.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to turn a post about your picture (which was a pretty good one, I should say) into a long-winded discussion. But you asked a pretty interesting question!

  18. Interesting, because I think that by accurately understanding the creation account, and the rest of the pre-history found in Genesis, it actually brings more wonder to the story of how God took this little group of people and turned them into His people.
    Maybe mythology is too strong of a word, but anyone from the outside looking in, would see everything pre-Abraham as mythology, and everything Abraham and onward as history.

    “Epic” might be the proper word, from a scholarly standpoint (it doesn’t imply that it’s untrue, just that it’s oral tradition).

    But our attempts to turn these epics into scientific and historical accounts put God into our own box, I would say. And further, when we ascribe an incorrect emphasis on the passages (creation as scientific truth), we lose the real importance of the passage (creation as theological truth).

    It’s like the passage where the Bible basically describes PI as 3. That passage was used as scientific evidence for years, though it was clearly incorrect. The question is, what is the passage intended to describe? Scientific truth? How God created the world? Or theological truth? The fact that he actually created the world?

    By the way, my wife hates it when she notices a pretty sunset, and I start to talk about why the colors pop out so amazingly. Same thing with rainbows. Refraction of light is a pretty cool thing, both on an intellectual level as well as an aesthetic one. The Bible is the same way — there are elements that you might miss out on, if you fail to approach it analytically. Viewing the first part of Genesis as part of Israel’s mythology doesn’t lessen the appeal of the Bible, it enhances it.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to turn a post about your picture (which was a pretty good one, I should say) into a long-winded discussion. But you asked a pretty interesting question!

  19. Interesting, because I think that by accurately understanding the creation account, and the rest of the pre-history found in Genesis, it actually brings more wonder to the story of how God took this little group of people and turned them into His people.
    Maybe mythology is too strong of a word, but anyone from the outside looking in, would see everything pre-Abraham as mythology, and everything Abraham and onward as history.

    “Epic” might be the proper word, from a scholarly standpoint (it doesn’t imply that it’s untrue, just that it’s oral tradition).

    But our attempts to turn these epics into scientific and historical accounts put God into our own box, I would say. And further, when we ascribe an incorrect emphasis on the passages (creation as scientific truth), we lose the real importance of the passage (creation as theological truth).

    It’s like the passage where the Bible basically describes PI as 3. That passage was used as scientific evidence for years, though it was clearly incorrect. The question is, what is the passage intended to describe? Scientific truth? How God created the world? Or theological truth? The fact that he actually created the world?

    By the way, my wife hates it when she notices a pretty sunset, and I start to talk about why the colors pop out so amazingly. Same thing with rainbows. Refraction of light is a pretty cool thing, both on an intellectual level as well as an aesthetic one. The Bible is the same way — there are elements that you might miss out on, if you fail to approach it analytically. Viewing the first part of Genesis as part of Israel’s mythology doesn’t lessen the appeal of the Bible, it enhances it.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to turn a post about your picture (which was a pretty good one, I should say) into a long-winded discussion. But you asked a pretty interesting question!

  20. Interesting, because I think that by accurately understanding the creation account, and the rest of the pre-history found in Genesis, it actually brings more wonder to the story of how God took this little group of people and turned them into His people.
    Maybe mythology is too strong of a word, but anyone from the outside looking in, would see everything pre-Abraham as mythology, and everything Abraham and onward as history.

    “Epic” might be the proper word, from a scholarly standpoint (it doesn’t imply that it’s untrue, just that it’s oral tradition).

    But our attempts to turn these epics into scientific and historical accounts put God into our own box, I would say. And further, when we ascribe an incorrect emphasis on the passages (creation as scientific truth), we lose the real importance of the passage (creation as theological truth).

    It’s like the passage where the Bible basically describes PI as 3. That passage was used as scientific evidence for years, though it was clearly incorrect. The question is, what is the passage intended to describe? Scientific truth? How God created the world? Or theological truth? The fact that he actually created the world?

    By the way, my wife hates it when she notices a pretty sunset, and I start to talk about why the colors pop out so amazingly. Same thing with rainbows. Refraction of light is a pretty cool thing, both on an intellectual level as well as an aesthetic one. The Bible is the same way — there are elements that you might miss out on, if you fail to approach it analytically. Viewing the first part of Genesis as part of Israel’s mythology doesn’t lessen the appeal of the Bible, it enhances it.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to turn a post about your picture (which was a pretty good one, I should say) into a long-winded discussion. But you asked a pretty interesting question!

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