We live in a visual world these days. To children and adults alike, education and entertainment are visual, dramatic, dynamic and constantly improved. In classrooms and boardrooms the new tech is used to make people understand and remember as well as stimulate creativity and initiative. The days of dusty chalk on blackboards are long gone.
Long, long ago, the Greek philosopher, Socrates, was opposed to “the art of writing”. He thought that writing everything down would spoil the ability to memorize facts. People would be complacent when information is available in writing and not make the effort to engage the retaining faculties of the mind. [I include his reasoning at the end of this piece – interesting to think about it in terms of our modern day “wisdom”.]
Screens in all shapes and sizes are all around us, in the workplace and in our homes. Just think for a moment what was available a half century ago. Going to the movies was a special night out. The drive-in was the go-to place for the latest Hollywood productions. Now all of those are available on the couch with the world of Holly- and Bollywood and so much more at the touch of the remote button. Students study online in virtual lecture halls at their own convenience. Where are the days of small tape recorders in the front row of university classes? (Not that I long for any of this – I enjoy the world of information at my fingertips.)
Time travel with me, not to the days of Socrates or even the beginnings of writing in Egypt – further back. Take the big steps, like only our God-given imagination can, to the days of Noah – yes, so far back. To Noah, God set up the screen of the universe and said: Look! He displayed the heavenly splendour in a colour-arch to serve us to this day, as steady and beautiful as ever.
“Hear” the surround sound and “see” the biggest screen of the firmament to “read” God’s art of writing. He says:
“And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you,
And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” (Genesis 9:9,12,13,16)
When God says: look, it is not a casual invitation to take a quick look. When God says: look, your life depends on it. Take a look, pause and calmly think about it, understand and invite the insight of the Holy Spirit into your mind for the quickening of your inner being and live – truly live!
To hear and see have never been so important. To look with your mind and heart fully involved, is to receive the instruction of the biggest screen ever – the heavenly skies of unending majesty stretching further and wider than you could ever imagine over past and future in a moment of eternity.
Look at the rainbow! Know what it means!
It is vital to know that the rainbow is always there, always visible. We need the right optical elements to see it. We need a prism to see God’s light “divided” into colours. That is what a prism does. It divides light. The rainbow gives us a taste, so to speak, of the manifold power of the covenant promises. Just think how lovely it is to see the rainbow when the light shines through the shower door, or the kitchen window, or the water drops on the bricks.
Just the other day I stared in wonder in the bathroom when the chandelier caught the first sun of the morning and the bathroom was bathed in colour. I rejoiced and asked God for a chandelier in my spirit to always see the full spectrum of his covenant.
What do I need to “see” the rainbow at all times? I need a life-prism. The life-prism is faith. How do I get faith when my circumstances toss me in the stormy seas and I feel I am sinking?
I need the glasses, or contact lenses of the Word of God. I need to hear the Word – it is the faith building bricks of a godly life.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
The point is: Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to. (Romans 10:17, The Message)
We all experience fear very real and very physical. We never have to fake fear. It is there and it makes itself known in no uncertain terms.
As physical and real fear presents, as physical and real the rainbow is our sign of outcome and relief. To see and be filled with the peace of God we need to grab hold of his Word, to know and understand what He has said.
Please read Genesis 9 to hear the beautiful words of God when He gave us the rainbow.
It the golden thread that guarantees the Covenant promises to the end of time.
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.(Revelation 4:3)
I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.(Revelation 10:1)
In fact, it [the art of writing] will introduce forgetfulness into the soul of those who learn it: they will not practice using their memory because they will put their trust in writing, which is external and depends on signs that belong to others, instead of trying to remember from the inside, completely on their own. You have not discovered a potion for remembering, but for reminding; you provide your students with the appearance of wisdom, not with its reality. Your invention will enable them to hear many things without being properly taught, and they will imagine that they have come to know much while for the most part they will know nothing. And they will be difficult to get along with, since they will merely appear to be wise instead of really being so.”