I still remember when Chandler was much younger and we witnessed a rainbow, and he blurted out, “I think that means to me God’s happy.”
This comment, out of nowhere, was a total delight. Not to mention that he was right. The rainbow first appeared as a sign to Noah that God would never again destroy the earth by water. Chandler’s insight that God is happy about that is brilliant, and a testimony to how much kids know that we don’t know they know. A rainbow means that God is happy.
That the rampant wickedness on the earth required God to destroy so much of what he had created and start over with one man called Noah was something that brought God no amount of pleasure. “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone,” he proclaimed through his prophet Ezekiel. “Repent and live!” (Ezekiel 18:32)
Some people think God is a sort of killjoy who takes great joy in meeting out his justice on all unrighteousness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Peter echoes the prophecy of Ezekiel when he wrote: “The Lord is not slow about His promise [about returning to judge the world], as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) That’s the real heart of God toward us. Give us as much time as possible to turn to him. Who knows, He may be waiting for you!
It was no coincidence that the oldest man living as recorded in the scriptures was Methuselah. He lived 969 years and his name meant: “when he dies, it [the flood] shall be sent.” In other words, Methuselah was a walking billboard for the end of the world as they knew it. And God let that sign speak for 969 years. Fair warning. Seven days after Methuselah died the rains came.
God is going to have to pass judgment again on the world someday, but there’s not going to be any fun in it. What’s fun is hanging rainbows in the sky and promising to never again flood the earth. That made God happy, just as Chandler called it.
What makes God happy is when we repent – when we change our minds and turn to him, because that means he can give us life, and rain on us with His grace.
The next time you see a rainbow, know that God is happy. This is the acceptable day of the Lord. He’s still offering His grace to all humanity. This is the good news that we bring.