I’ve heard that Shirley MacLaine once stood proudly on the sea shore shouting “I am God, I am God!”. I imagine that made God laugh. Conversely, there is a legend that Canute, a Viking who became king of England, sat on the sea shore commanding the tide not to come in. He apparently did this not because he believed he could pull it off, but because he wanted to demonstrate to his courtiers that he was just a man like them, and that only God in heaven could do such a thing.

There are at least two Scriptural references to things that make God laugh. I’m not saying that these are the only things he laughs about, since God is the creator of laughter and joy.

First, God laughs at those who are in determined opposition to righteousness and to those who follow his prescribed ways of living. There are such people in our day who literally hate those who profess Christ and who say that certain life-styles (and death-styles) are wrong. There are people who claim to love God but who threaten death and destruction:

“The wicked plot against the righteous, and gnash their teeth at them: but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming” (Psalm 37: 12, 13).

It’s not as though God gives them no opportunity to change their ways and their attitudes, but eventually he gives them over to the consequence of their actions, and ultimately to judgment:

“If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you, and made my thoughts known to you. But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, since you ignored all my advice and would not accept rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you…” (Proverbs 1: 23-26).

Secondly, the Lord laughs at those who conspire together to attack Him, his lordship over the earth, his chosen nation and his chosen people. Armageddon is not a war between nations, but a battle in which the nations of the earth imagine that they can stop Christ returning, and wipe out his people once and for all (Revelation 19:11-20). Psalm 2 begins:

“Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.

‘Let us break their chains’, they say, ‘and throw off their fetters’.

The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them” (Psalm 2:1-4).

Opposing God and his ways can be no more successful than telling the tide not to come in: you cannot win. It’s much better to listen to his call.

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