God of Colour

On my return cycle ride from chapel last Sunday evening, I was treated to a chromatic light show. It was one of those evocative evenings: the sun shone brightly illuminating the landscape, while the sky above was dark and brooding, and raindrops still fell. A large, complete rainbow straddled the hill, while a second mirrored its position, even blending into the first at points. The pictures taken on my smart phone are utterly incapable of doing justice to so opulent a scene. Suffice to say it got me thinking.

Rainbows are a reminder of God’s mercy at the time of Noah’s Flood, of His promise not to deluge the entire earth again. Moderns simply dismiss such bows as charming feats of ‘nature’, thus denuding the spectacle of its theological impetus. Yet it was not this that came to mind, but that strange passage in Ezekiel in which the prophet describes a vision of the Almighty:

Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the colour of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. 1:27-28, New King James Version

John beholds a similar sight in Revelation 4:3:

And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. (NKJV)

Rainbows do not just bespeak God’s mercy, but also His glory and majesty. He is not some bland, monochrome spirit, but the very source of all that is vibrant, vivacious and vivid. He generates creativity and passion, and where He goes, colour and essence pulsate about Him. Hell might be dark and crepuscular, but heaven is no doctors’ waiting room with fluorescent lights reflecting a bleached, clinical sterility. It will be more awash with colour and hue than ever we could imagine. Our churches might be plain, but our God and His heaven are most certainly not.

O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. Isaiah 54:11-12

Image by David Mark from Pixabay