Boarding and Deboarding Noah's Ark
The Ride of Your Life!
(Episode 5: God's Compassion)


Full rainbow above neighborhood houses against an overcast sky. Garbage bins are in front of the houses
(image borrowed from my 1st blog post: Even on Garbage Day, God Loves Us)


The episode where we talk about:


There may be rain. Dark clouds may come. But God made rainbows to call attention to His promise.

Did you know that the only planet in our solar system where rainbows appear is Earth? That means rainbows only appear on the planet that endured a worldwide flood. Another amazing fact is that we can never touch the rainbows we see, or interrupt them, or dismantle them. Rainbows are in God’s hands, not ours. We can’t change God’s promise. These two facts are extensions of God’s compassion.

Why did God create the rainbow phenomena and what is His promise?


This post is Episode 5 of an 8-episode series about boarding and deboarding Noah’s Ark. If you’re visiting this series for the first time, you should start at Episode 1: The Story of Our Lives. Otherwise, sit back and experience Episode 5.

Small image acting as separater: Silhouette of Noah's Ark in wavy water

Episode 5: God’s Compassion

Through God’s compassion, He offers beautiful promises to mankind, and the best promises to those who have His approval. 

Whenever I form clouds over the earth, a rainbow will appear in the clouds.
Then I will remember my promise to you and every living animal.
Never again will water become a flood to destroy all life.

Genesis 9:14-15

God is compassionate and rainbows are reminders of it. It all began with Noah’s burnt offering:

The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart:
“Never again will I curse the ground because of humans,
even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood.
And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.


“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”


Genesis 8:21-22


“As long as the earth endures,” our compassionate God will never destroy all living creatures like He did with the Flood. Noah’s offering reminded Him of how much He cared about mankind and the animals. If you’re a parent like me, you often get warm fuzzies when you think about your children. Even when things don’t go well, your love is so much greater than their offenses. They can turn their backs on you and your door would still and always be open for them.

This is how I see God when I read these verses. God wants a relationship with us. He watches over us and intervenes for our benefit; weeps when we weep; heals our wounds and brokenness; welcomes us with open arms when we return to Him; bestows blessings, grace, and mercy, much that we don’t see, all because of His compassion. And He does this over and over, each and every day:

I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.


Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:


Because of the Lord’s great love
we are not consumed,

for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:19-23

I know it doesn’t always feel like God cares, especially when things don’t go well. I can’t imagine how hard it must’ve been for Noah and his family when the Flood came. Maybe they even heard the cries of some near the ark as they were overwhelmed by the Flood. And then, after more than a year of undirected seafaring, difficult living conditions, and a lot of hard work caring for themselves and the animals, they stepped out of the ark into an empty land. The emptiness must have reminded them of the devastation from which God rescued them. Then each generation revisited the story of the Flood through retellings of God’s comprehensive judgment.

Where was God’s compassion?

It was always there. Mankind would’ve known this if it hadn’t turned away from God. The same is true today. Face any direction and you can walk straight into God’s open arms. Sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do – to walk into God’s open arms. Sometimes we don’t want to accept that each day is a new day to be with Him – a gift of His compassion.


Face any direction and you can walk
straight into God's open arms.
Sometimes that's the hardest thing to do 

to walk into God's open arms.


Small image acting as separater: Silhouette of Noah's Ark in wavy water

We might prefer a life or friends that we feel are better than what God has to offer. But please understand that they most likely walk us further from our compassionate Father and the best life He has in mind for us. Noah and his family were brave enough to walk towards God instead of the direction of all of those around them. They obeyed God and stepped onto the ark. It must have been difficult to do the right thing.

When they finally stepped off the ark, Noah made a burnt offering to God and God responded. Maybe we need to spend some time in worship (see Episode 4). God reacts to our worship. In fact, Noah’s worship sparked God to express His compassion to all mankind. It started in His heart as He spoke to Himself (Genesis 8:21), then He declared His promise to Noah and his sons (Genesis9:8-17).

And, so God created rainbows. He created them to celebrate His commitment of compassion. He created them to signify that:

  • God cares deeply about all that lives and unconditionally about humans
  • God made an everlasting promise to all that lives
  • God will not allow or deliver another worldwide flood for any reason
  • God will never forget this promise

Isaiah 54 records a promise that is very similar to god’s promise to Noah and his sons. He spoke to Israel and, by extension, to us as His people. Read Isaiah 54:1-17 for a full context, but here is an excerpt:

"I abandoned you for one brief moment,
but I will bring you back with unlimited compassion.

I hid my face from you for a moment in a burst of anger,
but I will have compassion on you with everlasting kindness,"
says the LORD your defender.


"To me this is like Noah's floodwaters,
when I swore an oath that Noah's floodwaters
would never cover the earth again.
So now I swear an oath not to be angry with you or punish you.


The mountains may move, and the hills may shake,
but my kindness will never depart from you.
My promise of peace will never change,"
says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 54:7-10


God’s kindness will never depart from us and His promise of peace will never change. This is God’s compassion. As I wrote at the beginning of this post, there is nothing anyone can do to interrupt or dismantle a rainbow. We can’t even touch it. The same goes for God’s promises. They will never change.

So, when you see a rainbow, remember that God sees it too, and His promise extends to you and those you hold dear. God is fond of us and He desires a vibrant relationship with us. He made us to be in sync with Him, but we are often not on the same page. After all, that is the reason for the Flood. But God wants to restore those who haven’t yet come to Him, and He wants to enrich those who have already accepted His compassionate embrace.

When you see a rainbow,
remember that God sees it too,
and His promise extends to you
and those you hold dear.


Small image acting as separater: Silhouette of Noah's Ark in wavy water

View from driver's seat of a full rainbow against a cloudy sky at the end of a freeway

Rainbows excite us, don’t they? They’re spectacular! Even though we see them fairly often in some geographical areas, they capture our fascination at every appearance. It’s as if God schedules these special moments to celebrate His compassion for us.

Society might change the symbolism of rainbows, but it can’t change God’s promise and His compassion. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8-9). The words He spoke to Noah and His sons, the promises He spoke to His people through Isaiah, and the new covenant He penned through faithful authors of the New Testament are reliable and relevant for all people of all generations.

And God’s promises are extra special and fulfilling for those who choose to trust Him for everlasting life. This is because we know we will enjoy God’s best for us while we look forward to our future home in Heaven. There may not be a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but there are streets of gold in Heaven. We may not be connected to the gods through rainbows, but we will be in the presence of our compassionate God in Heaven. There may not be a better life somewhere over the rainbow, but there is certainly a better life in Heaven.


There may not be a better life
somewhere over the rainbow,
but there is certainly
a better life in Heaven.


God’s compassion led Jesus to the cross, but it didn’t stop there. Let these promises from God speak to your hearts:


…God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life.

John 3:16


What, then, shall we say in response to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—
how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?


Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?
It is God who justifies.
Who then is the one who condemns?
No one.
Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—
is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution
or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”


No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31-39


As long as this earth spins, as clearly as rainbows decorate the skies, the door of the ark will remain wide open. We are welcome to enjoy God's compassion. Walk into His open arms and live in His embrace. Greater compassion is found nowhere else. Meditate on these thoughts as you listen to this song by Tasha Layton called Never. We can never be outside of God’s care.

Other episodes here. More episodes to come:

Episode 1: The Story of Our Lives

Episode 2: A Desperate Situation

Episode 3: Islands & Lifelines

Episode 4: OurResponse of Worship

Episode 5: God’s Compassion (this post)

Episode 6: The Value of Life

Episode 7: Victory Over Death

Episode 8: Jesus’ Return


If you want to dialog more about God’s compassion, feel free to leave a comment or email me at God gave His only Son to pay the penalty of our sins and reunite us with Himself. He did this because He is compassionate and merciful. Read about it at my Good News page.

Read more blog posts here.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.



  1. Another great message Stephen. I love seeing rainbows because it reminds me of God’s love for me. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story

    1. Yes, and God put the rainbows in the sky to remind Himself of that great love as well. Thanks for visiting.

  2. I love seeing rainbows. They are beautiful reminders of the promises of God. :-)

    1. Yes, Melissa. I've seen many rainbows but every one of them brings excitement. "Look! A rainbow!" And then I remember God's great compassion and His never-changing promises.

  3. This is powerful and beautiful all at the same time, Stephen. I love rainbows and double rainbows are so spectacular too. When I was on missions in Zimbabwe, Africa, we were able to take a few days for R&R and visited Victoria Falls. All along the way up to the falls, there was a rainbow at a different point from the mist of the falls. It was amazing to say the least. Thank you for this reminder that God sees too and always keeps His promises.

    1. Anonymous is me-lol, Karen Friday

    2. It's nice to hear about a part of your ministry, Karen, and it's amazing to be blessed with rainbows that travel along with you. The traveling rainbows also demonstrate that you can never touch or disturb them. They actually appear as full circles when viewing them from above, like God does. We only see portions of them. God sees His complete promises and we experience them a piece at a time. What an adventure!

  4. Wow, there is profound hope in this message, Stephen. I loved these lines: "Another amazing fact is that we can never touch the rainbows we see, or interrupt them, or dismantle them. Rainbows are in God’s hands, not ours. We can’t change God’s promise." I never stopped to think about God's sovereignty over the rainbow, like His sovereignty over His promises. We cannot touch or change this in any way. When I look at creation, I see God and I see that He is good. When I look at Jesus, I see God is good, merciful and compassionate. I pray many more will choose to get on the ark of salvation in Christ, to receive an eternal life that is truly over the rainbow.

    1. Hi Melissa. When writing this, I learned a bit about rainbows that I never knew before. Like the fact that rainbows are actually complete circles in the sky as I wrote to Karen (anonymous) above. God is surely sovereign over rainbows, His creation, the activities of this world, and the future. It's so good that we can rest in His promises.

  5. This is filled with such beauty. We serve a God of hope and love. God cares about all of us intimately and deeply. He cares about our traumas and our shame, our good days and our bad ones. There is NOTHING we can do to ever separate ourselves from God and God's love!

    1. Amen, Jessica. God is in complete control, even when it doesn't seem like it. And He is ever compassionate. His mercies are new every morning, and how we need them each day!


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