Laughter in the Bible is recorded way back in the time of Abraham. Recall when God told Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child when Sarah was well past normal child bearing years, both of them laughed at the idea. History records that God’s promise was fulfilled with the birth of Isaac at the exact time foretold.
Recall also that Abraham and Sarah had intervened in an attempt to fulfill God’s plan as Sarah offered her maidservant Hagar to Abraham to fulfill God’s promise of a son which would be the seed of Abraham’s own body.
The result was the birth of Ishmael. Subsequently there was animosity between Sarah and her maidservant Hagar from the time of Ishmael’s birth. There was also animosity between their sons Ishmael and Isaac. Such animosity is very much alive today.
The Bible reveals that at Isaac’s weaning celebration when Ishmael was in his early teen years he laughed at the young child Isaac.
“So the child (Isaac) grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing.” Genesis 21:8-9
The Hebrew for ‘scoff’ has several synonyms including laugh, mock, scorn, deride, or make sport.
Later in the Psalms David wrote about the suffering of the future Messiah who would be of the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob…and David. While suffering on the cross David’s offspring would also be mocked and scorned.
“All those who see Me ridicule Me; they shoot out the lip (laugh me to scorn), they shake the head, saying, ‘He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him’!” Psalm 22:7-8
A millennium later that prophecy was perfectly fulfilled.
“And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, ‘He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God’. The soldiers also mocked Him…saying, ‘If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself’.” Luke 23:35-37
The Pharisees of that day had also derided Jesus as they attempted to discredit Him and His message. After Jesus had taught them about the impossibility of serving two masters, i.e. God or money, they responded with derision.
“Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money…derided Him.” Luke 16:14
The Greek for ‘deride’ is similar to the Hebrew ‘laugh’ with synonyms including mock or scorn.
Therefore, God’s chosen descendant of Abraham to receive the covenant, namely Isaac, was laughed at, mocked and scorned and Jesus the Son of God through Isaac was also laughed at, mocked and scorned.
But the issue of laughter is far from over.
The Psalmist once again addresses the issue of laughter.
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us’. He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision.” Psalm 2:2-4
Notice who will be laughing and deriding in the future. The former object of scorn and mocking will be doing the laughing.
The Bible in fact reveals that all who reject wisdom, which is embodied in Christ and offered freely, will partake of God’s derision.
“Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.” Proverbs 1:24-27
It is so easy to focus on the love of God that many times we overlook the fact that the final book in the Bible focuses on the wrath of God that befalls on all who take lightly the promises made through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
And so it is, the One who was/is laughed at, mocked and scorned will unquestionably have the last laugh.