Near the end of my seminary days, I remember one of my professors chastising us because we really “did not believe the Bible.” I found this to be a remarkable statement because, after all, I was attending one of the most conservative seminaries in the country, one that I had chosen because of its overall biblical fidelity. But my professor was not questioning our commitment to the inspiration of the Scriptures. Instead, he was simply calling into question the prevailing, modern worldview that has affected all of us in Western society.
My professor used the example of the rainbow to prove his point. He said that we have become so accustomed to seeking a naturalistic, or “scientific,” explanation for all things that we forget, at least practically, the spiritual reality behind all events. As we noted yesterday, the word used for the rainbow in Genesis 9 is the same word used for bows wielded in battle. Yet today how many of us look at a rainbow and realize that God truly is a warrior, and that He has really set aside His weapon, at least in regards to flooding the earth. When asked to explain what causes a rainbow, the accepted answer today would be that a rainbow results from the refraction of light through the prism of the raindrops. I can think of no one who would say a rainbow appears because the Lord has put His weapon away.
The point is not to deny that our Father creates this weapon out of refracted light; it is only to say that when we unthinkingly adopt a naturalistic worldview, we have not been true to Scripture. The phenomena we observe are caused by natural processes quantifiable by the five senses. Yet we are mistaken if we think “natural” processes alone account for what is seen.
We dare not lose sight of the invisible world. Angels and demons are waging a real war all around us (2 Kings 6:8–23; Job 1–2; Luke 10:17–20; Eph. 6:12). Satan fights a losing battle, but there are casualties nonetheless. When nations war, invisible forces are fighting as well. When a doctor treats a patient, the Spirit of God is also at work. We do not want to find demons under every rock, but we do want to take the supernatural seriously. The covenant with Noah both confirms the reality of the unseen battle and gives us a stable arena in which to fight it. May we never lose sight of this fact but diligently help to advance God’s kingdom through our preaching, worship, and prayer.