Have you heard the one about the twelve guys who got stuck on a boat and forgot to bring food? It’s hilarious. They had just come from a giant feast, where their leader had just turned a basket of bread and fish into enough food for four thousand hungry guests. So, you’re passing the “magic basket” around and you don’t think to grab a loaf and some tuna for yourself?
Anyways, these guys are on this boat, and they got no food, and their leader says to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? How many leftover baskets were there the first time I fed the crowd? How many were leftover the second time I fed them? You guys are amazing!” (See Mark 8:14-21 for the original). I might not be telling it right, but it’s a classic!
Don’t let anyone tell you that God doesn’t have a sense of humour. All you got to do is look in the mirror to figure that one out. Laughter may not be a major theme of the Bible, but there is evidence of the importance of laughter throughout it.
Remember the one about the hundred-year-old couple who God promised they would have a baby? They laughed out loud. Both of them! To God’s face! You gotta be kidding me. But the joke was on them, because that old woman had a baby and she named him Isaac, which means “he laughs.” You can’t make this stuff up.
God invented laughter and a time for it (Ecclesiastes 3:4). In some cases, laughter was a way of mocking the foolish (Psalm 2:4; 37:13; 52:6; 59:8; Proverbs 1:26; Matthew 9:24; Mark 5:40). Other places, laughter is about God-given pleasure or joy (Ecclesiastes 10:19).
You gotta remember the one about the rich guy named Job who had it all and then one day his life became a living hell. What’s so funny about that one, you say? I grant you, it’s not a knee-slapper, but Job’s friends remind him that one day, he would look back on all the crap going on in his life and laugh (Job 5:22; 8:21). The man had boils on his boils! Every cow, goat and sheep caught the 3:10 to Yuma, people! Do you have friends who give you advice like this in moments like this? The joke, of course, is that when all is said and done, he does get to look back on it all and laugh, figuratively speaking.
Some of you read the title of this post and cringed. “What kind of sacrilege is he writing about today?” The point of this devo I hope has been made clear. I want you to laugh and think at the same time. To err is human; to laugh divine. Perhaps some of us should have that tattooed to our backsides.