“He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision” (Psalm 2:4).
“Them” is the “the kings, rulers, nations, and peoples” who hate the Lord and his Messiah, and so, rage and plot to burst their bonds and cast away their restraints.
Those bonds must be a law written on the human heart, or a Word whispered into the soul: “Don’t exalt yourself; humble yourself, in the service of Love. I am Love.”
Could there be a bond more restrictive upon the arrogant human ego than that?
Every time I sin, I admit that “them” is me?
Does God laugh at me?
There are three classic theories of humor: the Superiority Theory, the Relief Theory, and the Incongruity Theory.
The Superiority Theory claims that we laugh when we notice that we’re superior and another is inferior.
That’s the way Satan laughs, or pretends to laugh.
It explains evil laughter, but not all laughter.
It can’t explain why a person might laugh at themself.
The Relief Theory explains laughter as the release of nervous energy.
But God laughs and God is not nervous.
The Incongruity Theory claims that we laugh at the recognition of incongruity between two perceptions of reality.
If the incongruity is resolved in a pleasant way, we call it comedy.
If the incongruity is not resolved, or is resolved in a negative way, we call it tragedy.
And so, the difference between tragedy and comedy is a little faith in how an incongruous situation may or may not be resolved.
Well God not only laughs, according to Psalm 2, he seems to laugh “at us.”
Why would a good father laugh at his own beloved children?
I can’t even begin to remember all the times that I laughed at my children.
But I didn’t let them know I was laughing. But now, they laugh with me, at themselves.
It’s the substance of all of our best family stories: how Becky would call my parents to come spank me, how Coleman would sneak into the back yard to eat dirt, how Elizabeth was convinced she knew everything in the world, and Jon was convinced the toilet would burn him with fire.
I can’t recall the number of times Susan and I would get angry at the kids (because we needed to), but then run into the next room and start laughing.
You see? To their tender little egos, our wrath was more merciful than our laughter.
Elizabeth was addicted to gum; she couldn’t help but eat it.
Once I sat her on the bed and said, “I’ll give you gum if you chew it with me.” She put it in her mouth started chewing, and then told me—at great length and with extreme confidence—how grown up she was, because she would never ever swallow her gum.
I then said, “Elizabeth, where’s your gum?”
A wave of horror swept over her four-year-old face. She cried out in absolute despair, “I swallowed my gum. I’ll never ever chew gum! I’m not a big girl. I’m a little girl.” Then she threw herself across my lap weeping, wailing, and lamenting.
It was an absolute tragedy.
But for me it was a comedy… and a tragedy.
A tragedy, for what you do to Elizabeth, you also do to me, even if it’s Elizabeth that’s doing it to Elizabeth.
I cried with Elizabeth, but laughed at her, inside… laughed at her and her gum addiction.
Do you suppose that God laughs at your addictions?
I didn’t laugh because I was nervous about her gum addiction—I was pretty sure it wasn’t permanent.
I didn’t laugh because I felt superior—even though I rarely swallow my gum.
I laughed because of the incongruity between her own perception of herself and the treasure that I knew her to be.
I laughed, not because she was less than she perceived herself to be, but because she was, and is, truly more than she had yet begun to imagine.
I laughed at her ridiculous little ego.
Her ego told her that if she could chew gum, then she’d really be something, king of the world, and impressive to me.
The reality is that she was already impressive to me, king of my world, and everything to me… and it had absolutely nothing to do with her ability to chew gum.
I laughed to myself, at herself, knowing that one day she’d laugh with me… and probably, we’d both chew gum in freedom!
Soren Kierkegaard argued that irony marks the boundary between licentiousness and law, but the boundary between law and grace is marked by humor.
Humor is the birth of faith in Grace… and God is Grace.
“Through Isaac (literally ‘he laughs’) shall your seed be named.”
Through laughter, we learn to call on the name of Jesus (literally, “God Saves”).
Faith in you is the promised seed in you and the birth of laughter.
God saves us from ourselves, and we laugh, for we are more than we have ever imagined.
In Acts 4, Peter and John quote Psalm 2 after spending the night in the pit of sorrow.
The house shakes, the Spirit descends, and I bet they laughed.
They laughed because God laughed at Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod.
They laughed because God laughed at sin, death, and Hell.
They laughed because God laughed at them and their failure.
God laughed at the temper tantrums of John, “the Beloved.”
And God laughed at Peter’s cowardice… that is Peter, “the Rock.”
When God laughs at you, laugh with him, at yourself—your ego.
Laugh with him, for you are more than you know.