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He Laughs!

Genesis 17:17a

Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old?”

One day, when I’m much older and wiser, I hope to write a book that’s been on my mind for a while called ‘Divine Comedy,’ in which I’d investigate the way our sense of humor is a reflection of God in Whose image we’ve been crafted. While Puritans and Reformers did well to remind us of the severity of God’s uncompromising seriousness, they did little to remind us of His unrivaled humor. And I can’t help but read Abraham’s hysterical reaction to God’s promise here not as a disbelief in the impossibility of the miracle, but as an admission of the sheer ridiculousness of the miracle. Because, let’s face it: a 100-year-old man becoming a father is just downright hilarious when you get down to it!

Fast forward to Genesis 21 where God fulfills this prophecy, and guess what Abraham calls his son? He laughs. That’s what Isaac means. So remember, Christian: the joy of the Lord is your strength today, not the somberness of the Lord. And while heart-rending contrition remains a vital part of our Christian walk, we need room for gut-busting laughter too.