On October 30, 2012, ABC News shared a photo of a double rainbow that appeared in Manhattan early this morning as the city begins the recovery and rebuilding process following Sandy. The photo was posted on the official Facebook account and has resulted in more than 5,000 shares, 7,000 likes and comments where viewers are speaking of God and his promises. The rainbow is first mentioned in the Old Testament following Noah’s flood and symbolizes a covenant that God will never destroy all life by means of a flood. According to the latest reports, more than 7 million people are currently without power and at least 16 people have died in the United States. Due to the amount of water that fell, the sheer size of the storm and the cooler temperatures combined with high winds, Sandy’s impact will be continually felt throughout the week.
Manhattan Rainbow Sparks Debate, Provides Comfort
While some atheists have left comments on ABC News’ Facebook page saying that God is imaginary and the appearance of the rainbow is simply a scientific phenomenon, others are pointing to God’s promises and faithfulness and taking comfort from the appearance. One poster reminded others to count their blessings and look to the number of people who survived the storm that could have resulted in significantly greater loss of life. Others thanked God for the rainbow and referred to it as a reminder that He is still watching over the earth and is faithful to his promises. Some were moved by the photo and left one-word responses such as “Wow,” or “Amen.”
Another poster asked if God could put his power back on for him.
The Religious Significance of the Rainbow
The rainbow first appears in Old Testament or Hebrew writings in Genesis 9. The rainbow symbolizes God’s promise to never destroy all flesh through a worldwide, global flood. There are Native American legends surrounding the meaning of the rainbow and the Australian Aborigines hold to the myth of the rainbow serpent. The Genesis 9 account that tells of Noah’s ark and the global flood is a belief held by many Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Genesis 9: 11-16 states, “And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
“And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
“I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
“And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
“And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
“And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”
For many who have left comments on ABC’s Facebook page, the Manhattan rainbow served as a reminder that God would not destroy all life through storm Sandy, and to count your blessings rather than your losses.
What do you think about the Manhattan rainbow? Was it God’s faithful promise or a scientific phenomenon?
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