You would be hard-pressed to find evidence in Scripture of God laughing with us, but you could find a number of instances where he is laughing at us–not at our honest sufferings, but at our puny little rebellions.

This reminds me of several years ago when Christianity Today ran an article on the New Atheists, and in the subsequent issue there was a letter to the editor from a famous Christian philosopher. I was curious to see how this extremely intelligent person would respond to the philosophical arguments marshaled against God and his existence. The gist of the response was simply to quote from Psalm 2:

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.

Our Lord is not scared. Our God is not surprised. He is not scattered-brained and he will not be silenced.

It is easy to look at what is going on in the world—wars and rumors of war, increasing hostility to biblical norms, persecution of Christians around the world, volatile elections, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, mass shootings—and to wonder what does God think of this? Doesn’t he care? Is he still on the throne? Doesn’t God see what is going on down here?

God sees, and God knows. He has a plan, and his ways will not be overturned.

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord. He directs it like a watercourse where he pleases.” (Proverbs 21:1)

Just like a child at the sea, marking a path for his sandcastle moat as the tide comes is, that’s how easily the Lord can deal with the kings, with the presidents, with the senators, with the MPs, with all the big wigs of this world. He will not always allow for this treason. He will not always seem silent. It is his great patience to restrain his fury that we might repent, and his great mercy to restrain what could be far great wickedness in these days. Who knows in how many countless ways the God of heaven is now sparing us from the worst of human beings here on earth? Frustrating our meager little Babel plans, just waiting for the time when he will look down and say, “Enough. They’ve hit the boundary line of providence. Scatter them. Disperse them.”

Our Lord is the God of the nations, and he is a God who can easily frustrate the plans of the nations—even yours, even mine.

He who sits in the heavens laughs.

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Comments:


9 thoughts on “Holy Laughter”

  1. Thanks Kevin. I am so glad God is patient. :)

    Do you think God laugh at us like a you may laugh at your children when they try to do something to please you? Perhaps they get it way wrong, but you are filled with joy because of their attempt?

    -Justin

  2. Kevin DeYoung says:

    That’s possible. We don’t hear about that kind of laughter, but I certainly believe God the Father is pleased with our sincere, albeit fumbling, obedience.

  3. Jason says:

    Mr. De Young writes: “You would be hard-pressed to find evidence in Scripture of God laughing with us…”

    Jesus is both God and Man, and He certainly laughs with us. God both laughs with us, and at us.

  4. Nate B says:

    What exactly was the article in Christianity today about? It was about the New Atheists—-but what about them? What did it say? I feel like this article would be stronger if we had more details about what was said by the New Atheists or what issues they were bringing up so that it would give context to Psalms 2. Just curious…

  5. Ross says:

    “And so they cock and aim /
    The target: his cosmic reign /
    That’s like a kid with a Super Soaker trying to conquer Spain!”

    #shailinne :)

    http://youtu.be/UqwpCIu-deA

  6. anaquaduck says:

    @ times we laugh like Sarah & Abraham[Gen 17 & 18], we really need to stop & look or hear God’s laugh.

  7. SuzanneT says:

    :) Great title, great post!

  8. Pingback: Saturday Reading |

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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