God Laughs, We Laugh

I love the story of Abraham and Sarah when God announced they were going to have a baby in their old age. The text says that “Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief” (Gen. 17:17). Really, God? Very funny.

God laughs, and sometimes he makes his people laugh with the surprising and funny ways that he leads us. Ironically, his sense of humor is often lost on us because we are crying at the time. Maybe we’ve already become cynical, like Sarah:

Sarah laughed, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?” (Gen. 18:12).

People tell me that I don’t look as old as I am. I’m younger than Sarah was, but I’m old enough that if the Lord laid something like that on me, I think I would be tempted to laugh first, ask questions later.

But there is a difference between me and Sarah. I was blessed to conceive and bear children. Sarah had been childless. A barren womb was one of the worst curses (perceived curses, if not actual curses) a woman could endure back then.

When this whole scenario played out, and baby Isaac–whose name means “laughter”– was in her arms, she responded, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me” (Gen. 21:6)

We inherit our gift of laughter from our Father. Psalm 2 declares that when nations and their leaders conspire against the Lord, “the one in heaven laughs” (v. 4).

Photo by Rodolfo Quiru00f3s on Pexels.com

A similar thought is conveyed in Psalm 37: “The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming” (12-13, NLT)

So sure is the ultimate plan of justice and judgment that those he has made righteous can laugh with God. Those who trust in him instead of their wealth or wicked schemes have no reason to fear or be overcome with anger. He tells us that we will laugh in amazement:

The righteous will see it and be amazed. They will laugh and say, “Look what happens to mighty warriors who do not trust in God. They trust their wealth instead and grow more and more bold in their wickedness” (Psalm 52:6-7).

The psalmist Asaph, puzzled over the apparent prosperity and ease of the wicked, finally made his way to God’s sanctuary, the place of worship. There the veil was lifted, and he cried, “When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning” (Ps. 73:20).

Have you ever done that? Woken up in the morning and remembered a strange and funny dream? That dream has as much substance as the haughty ideas of worldly people who put no trust in the Lord

Perhaps the best example forms a concluding statement in the Proverbs 31 description of a godly woman:

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future
Proverbs 31:25).

I don’t think this is gender specific. Anyone can be wrapped up in this clothing of strength and dignity, following in God’s ways.

He laughs, and we have his permission to laugh with him, in full confidence of a glorious future.

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