God is funny.


There are so many things I could write about God from this chapter of Genesis, but I’ve just got to write about God’s sense of humor. Are you sometimes lulled into thinking that God is a stern, distant Deity who frowns over you as you trudge through life? Even if you picture Him as one who wants to have a relationship with you, are you tempted to think that He is more like a harsh, exacting parent who keeps a watchful eye on His children, lest He see any hint of indiscretion?

Do you think God ever has fun? Does He ever laugh? Is He playful when it comes to relating with us? Does God have a sense of humor?

Photo © Unsplash/Scott Webb

Photo © Unsplash/Scott Webb

I love God’s exchange with Abraham in this chapter. Thirteen years have passed since Abraham and Sarah concocted their plan to accomplish God’s promise of a son. And God comes to Abraham again and says, "I will bless her [Sarah] and give her a son, and you will be the father." (Perhaps God wanted to spell out who both parents would be so there wouldn’t be any confusion this time!)

Abraham dismisses the thought immediately. The very next verse says Abraham fell to the ground, laughing. And he thought to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?" (vs 17)

Abraham knows this is impossible, so he tries to talk God into giving His intended blessing to Ishmael instead. But God assures Abraham that Sarah will have a son, and He tells Abraham to name the child Isaac.

Now, here’s the funny part. The Hebrew word for the name "Isaac" is Yitschaq. And it is a direct derivative of tsachaq, the Hebrew word translated "laughed" in verse 17. So, the name Isaac literally means "he laughed."

Photo © Unsplash/Ben White

Photo © Unsplash/Ben White

God tells Abraham that Sarah will bear him a son in his old age. Abraham thinks this is hilarious, so he laughs (LOL). In fact, he falls to the ground laughing (ROFL). So God tells him to name his child Isaac so that whenever he called his son by name, he would remember how he had laughed and laughed at what God said. For the rest of his life.

I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty funny. A relationship takes two people, and God is definitely plugged into our relationship with Him! He interacts with us as real people, taking us as we are, relating to us as we are. And He meets our doubt and unbelief with humor and wit. Amazing!