Summary: Psalm 2 says that God laughs. What does it mean to say that God laughs? Does he laugh at us? When and why?
Everybody enjoys a good laugh. A person who does not like to laugh is indeed in the pit of depression. Laughter is an universal language. Everyone understands a laugh. It is universal because it knows no international boundaries. From the burning desert of the Sahara to the frigid wastes of Siberia, people all over the world experience and enjoy laughter. Laughter knows no ethnic or racial restrictions. The Hottentots of Africa, the aborigines of Australia, and the Eskimos of Alaska all engage in laughter. Laughter knows no age barriers. The littlest toddler in the playpen to the oldest Senior citizen in the wheelchair all enjoy laughter.
But while laugher is a universal experience, it is also a uniquely human experience. Of all the creatures on earth only humans can laugh. The kitten frolicking around the house cannot laugh. The dog next door who barks at the worst hour of the night cannot laugh. The elephant with his prodigious memory cannot laugh. The gorilla with his enormous strength cannot laugh.
Laughter is a uniquely human experience. All of us enjoy laughter. We love to hear others laugh. We love to hear the innocent laughter of children at play or the joyous laughter of people enjoying themselves at a social event. We enjoy laughing at a funny story or an amusing incident. Everybody loves a good laugh.
But there is another side to laughter. There is a flip side to laughter. Most of us love to laugh but most of us don’t enjoy being laughed at. There are some comedians who make their living by becoming the butts of their own jokes and actions. Charlie Chaplain, probably the greatest comedian or funny man of all times, was successful because he made people laugh at him. It makes a difference when you’re paid for people to laugh at you. Then you can laugh all the way to the bank. But most of us don’t enjoy being laughed at.
Children go through many traumatic experiences when other children laugh at them because of the way they are dressed or by the way they walk or talk. Many of you are afraid to do things in the church and elsewhere because you are concerned about making a mistake or doing something that will make people laugh at you. Most of us enjoy laughing, but it takes an unusual person who doesn’t mind being laughed at.
I guess most of us here can remember times when we were laughed at by others and how uncomfortable it made us feel. I can remember when I visited Switzerland right after the 2nd World War before I came home from overseas. Many of the people evidently had never seen a Black person before. I can remember walking down the street as some people would look at me and break out in uncontrolled laughter. Those were the days before television so I suppose they had never seen a Black person before.
It doesn’t make you feel good to be laughed at. Some people take joy at laughing at other people’s misfortunes or failures. Some people laugh at you in front of your face, while others will laugh at you behind your back. In either case, few people enjoy being laughed at. But how would you feel if you knew God was laughing at you?
When we come to the Bible, laughter is usually viewed from an unfavorable perspective. Laughter is not mentioned often in the Bible and rarely does it carry the connotation of merriment, joy, or happiness. But laughter in the Bible is usually done in scorn, contempt, or derision. Laughter is usually directed at somebody.
People laughed at Jesus when he said he could revive Jairus’ daughter from death. The Philistines laughed at Samson when he was led before them blinded and helpless. The wicked laughed at the ruined city of Jerusalem when it was overrun by the Babylonians. Sarah laughed at God when he said she would bear a son at the age of 90. Even God laughs at people in the Bible.
One of the places we find God laughing is in our text for today in Psalm 2. It’s not a funny thing when God laughs at you. It’s bad enough to have folks laugh at you, but it’s really bad news when God laughs at you. Don’t look now. But could God be laughing at us right now?
Psalm 2:4 says he that sits on the throne in heaven laughs. Why did God laugh? What was the cause of His laughter? This psalm can be divided into 3 scenes. In the first scene we see the CAUSE of God’s laughter. This psalm is probably hypothetical, meaning that it does not refer to an event that happened in real history, although it could. Yet it is representative of the reality of human nature and experience.