This question came up in my Ladies’ Bible study group as we were discussing Chapter Six (DWSD). Don’t ask me why. I have come to learn that in my ladies’ group, all manner of questions and topics arise quite randomly, unapologetically, and inoffensively. I have come to enjoy each and every diversion.
I had never wondered if God laughs. Imagine my surprise when a few days later, as I was having devotions with my kids, I stumbled upon the following verse: “But the Lord shall laugh at [the sinner]; for he foresees that his day shall come” (Ps. 37:13).
Psalm 2:4 says, “He that dwells in the heavens shall laugh [the heathen] to scorn, and the Lord shall mock them”.
Psalm 59:8 says, “But thou, O Lord, wilt laugh [the heathen] to scorn; thou wilt utterly set at nought all the heathen”.
I mentioned this to my husband. Now, please don’t get me wrong when I say that my husband has insight into the mind of God that I, as a woman, could never have. I don’t do myself (or my female counterparts) any injustice when I say with both reverence and satisfaction that I am a woman, created by God to help my man. I am not a man, and do not share a sense of dignified masculinity with the Lord God the way my husband does. You can be offended by that, if you choose, but I hope that your meekness and wisdom will prevent that from happening.
My husband explained that the Lord’s laughter is in no way cute or cuddly. It is not the way you would laugh at the antics of a playful child or kitten, neither is it the way you would laugh at your husband’s jokes.
The Lord’s laughter, my husband taught me, is rooted in His sense of justice and is an indication of His absolute power.
Let me explain. Right now the good and the evil, the just and the unjust, and the righteous and the wicked all live under God’s patient mercy; the sun rises and sets on us all (Mt. 5:45). Nevertheless, the Lord sees our iniquity. He sees the sins of all mankind that have been committed over all time. He sees the oppression of the weak, the exploitation of the poor, and every act of violence and treachery. But He will not be mocked. In this time of mercy, while we are all given every opportunity to repent of our sins and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, He is storing up His wrath against the children of disobedience – the unrepentant workers of iniquity (Col. 3:6). When He looks on the prideful iniquity of the unbeliever, who sins without shame and persecutes His children, whose blatant disregard for the preciousness of life will not go unpunished, He shall laugh at them. Why? Because all their evil, which they call right and good, will be brought to ruin.
God’s justice is nothing like man’s justice. God’s justice is eternal, unending, and irreversible. God’s sense of justice revels in the downfall of the wicked. He will not mourn their destruction. In fact, He will be satisfied by it. He has every right to be because He is God.
Knowing this, we as Christians have an incredible work of grace to give to the sinners that surround us. Unlike God, we do not have the privilege or the burden of seeing the future pain that the sinning unbeliever will endure. This is why we must be diligent to spread the good news of Jesus Christ before it is too late. What is the good news? It is that although we all deserve death and hell, Jesus Christ has borne our punishment for us. He has given us an opportunity to come under submission to God, who loves us enough to cover our sin forever by His grace.
If you are a Christian, don’t hate sinners. Don’t laugh at their sin or scorn their foolishness – because you were once a fool, and sometimes still act foolishly. You were once blind, walking toward your own destruction. Today, you are a sinner under grace.
Instead of proudly elevating yourself because of your heavenly citizenship, humbly indebt yourself to the Saviour and spread the Word, while there is still time.