Genesis 18:9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?

14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

Introductory Thoughts

We tend to think of laughter in a positive light, generally envisioning emotions like happiness or joyfulness. Yet, far too much laughter results from things opposed to God and His will. The Bible provides this same assessment. A careful study of the word laughter in the Bible demonstrates that the connotation is overwhelmingly bad. Today’s passage shows Sarah laughing in disbelief of the promises of God. Genesis 17:17 shows that Abraham did the same when he heard the news. These were two godly people; yet, much of the laughter found in the Bible occurred when the ungodly mocked God’s people and God’s promises (Nehemiah 2:19). Our Saviour too was “laughed . . . to scorn” when He declared that the daughter of Jairus was not dead (Mark 5:40). Laughter, in and of itself, is not wicked, but the cause of one’s laughter reveals its true makeup.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Read Psalm 22:7-8. People laughed and made fun of Jesus while He was dying on the cross for the sins of mankind. They did not believe He was the Son of God though we know that He is and that they were wrong. Be very careful what you laugh at and why.
  •  (For everyone): In Ephesians 5:4, believers are warned about taking part in inconvenient jesting. What are some examples of inconvenient jesting? Why is it important that we do not laugh at foolish jesting?
  •  What makes you laugh? Are the things at which you laugh wholesome and godly? Do you laugh at things that bring hurt to others? Do you laugh at God’s people or with God’s people?

Prayer Thoughts

  •  Ask the Lord to help you to laugh and rejoice in Him.
  •  Ask God to help you avoid jesting which is not convenient.