Do you have a favorite color? Or do you think you’re too old to have a favorite color anymore? I always enjoy asking kids this question, but really no one is too old to appreciate the diverse and beautiful way God created light to reflect on His creation all around us. Well, I’m just going to tell you that blue is my favorite color for a number of reasons, and I’m probably going to talk more about blue than any other color. It used to bother me that the expressions using my favorite color, like “he’s blue today” or “I’ve got the blues”, indicated sadness. I thought blue, like the spectacular sky and vast oceans, should be a happy color!
Colors can often be used to convey a particular concept or idea, both scientifically and Biblically. Throughout the Bible, as God revealed Himself to individuals and the nation of Israel, He continually set up symbols and reminders (often including specific colors) of Who He is, what He has done, and what He promises He will do. The rainbow, of course, is the colorful symbol of God’s promise never again to destroy the entire earth with water like He did with Noah’s flood. When reading about the wilderness Tabernacle or Solomon’s temple in the Old Testament the colors blue, purple, and scarlet are mentioned over and over again. Every detail of these holy places, including the colors, had special meanings and reminders intended to point back to God.
You’ve probably heard that the color purple indicates royalty (Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords) and that scarlet is symbolic of the lifeblood our Savior shed for our ransom. Blue is a very significant color as well because it is the color of the sky and a reminder to keep our focus toward Heaven. In the first chapter of Ezekiel, it talks about the throne of our LORD being the same breathtaking blue of sapphire stones. It’s also very thought-provoking to notice that every Isrealite man was supposed to have a blue strand in each of the tassels on the four corners of his garment to remind them of God’s Word and to remind them to be set-apart (holy) for the LORD (see Numbers 15:38-41). Traditionally, the dye for this blue strand of each tassel was extracted from a special sea creature (the mollusk, Murex trunculus), and this dye was so valuable that it was often worth more than its weight in gold.
In science, as well as the Bible, colors can often be vivid reminders of God’s protection and provision for us and the rest of His creation. Aurorae are a perfect example of this. God created earth with a magnetic field around it to protect us from dangers like solar wind – I like to describe earth’s magnetic field to kids as an invisible force-field. Solar wind consists of very energetic particles that could cause a lot of damage if our magnetic field did not deflect it. Sometimes in the weaker parts of the magnetic field, near the magnetic north and south poles, some of these very energetic particles get into the upper atmosphere and cause a spectacular light display of aurora. This is where the colorful Aurora Borealis in the northern hemisphere and Aurora Australis in the southern hemisphere. These lights are a beautiful reminder of how God created our magnetic field to protect us from those dangerous solar particles that cause the aurora.
There are many other examples of God using colors in creation to protect and provide for a plant or animal, like a color-changing chameleon or creatures with intimidating looking patters. The next time you see colorful reminders of God’s provision and protection in creation, remember that He cares for even the sparrows, and so much more for us, as we are made in His image.
The Hem of His Garment, by John D. Garr, 2007, Gold Key Press