Summary: If we adopt the Abraham/Sarah pattern of abandoning trust in divine promises, and choosing our preferred detours, and if we laugh at the promises of God, we invite catastrophe, and ensure that God will have the last laugh.

Laughing Out Loud at God!!??


Armstrong Chapel United Methodist Church


(If you use material from this message, please attribute the quote to the above source, together with the URL web site address as listed in your browser window)

[Note: material is formatted by phrases, to permit easier at-a-glance capturing of the material for oral delivery of the sermon]

Scripture: Genesis 15:1-6, 16:1-2, 17:15-19; 18:11-15, 21:1-3,5-6



Do you trust God

or laugh him off

under your breath

as irrelevent?

ever laughed out loud at God?

I did, almost...

Six days ago, I laughed so hard

I could hardly breathe...

It was a scene from

Jim Carey’s movie, "Bruce Almighty."

Morgan Freeman portrayed God....

He got so fed up with

Cary’s negative complaints

that he gave Cary

a chance to be God.

Cary used his almighty power

to gain revenge

on a competitor

who got the news job

Cary wanted.

When his competitor started as news anchor,

Cary used his godlike powers

to make the fellow talk like

a hilarious, babbling idiot.

It was so funny,

I laughed myself breathless.

at Cary’s portrayal of God...

But Abram and Sarai

laughed at God!!

& God’s plan...!!!

The Movie Bruce Almighty &

Abraham and Sarah

all show God may get

the last laugh

in leading us

from Laughter to Trust.

1. They Trusted God’s Promise


Promise was simple, multiple to Abraham / Sarah.

Parenthood & plenty of it....

They would have Fertile,


plentiful parenthood

Gen 12:2-3 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. {3} I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Gen 12:7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram, and said, To your offspring I will give this land., So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

Gen 13:16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth; so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted.

Can,t you just picture Sarah:

Starts making excursions

to the blue light specials

at the closest Dessert Mart

to buy little nursery tents

Cheaper by the dozen,

for all children

they’re going to have.

Abraham thinks

No need for Social security for me....

With descendants by the dozen,

they’ll support me in retirement.....

So this couple

starts planning how

God must fulfill his promise...

................. BUT ...........

Then they got nervous!!

kids didn’t arrive

on their schedule..

So Abram called up heaven’s customer service:

"God remember the fine print

in your guarantee....

I’m here to collect....

but "You have given me no children..’"

God Reaffirms Promise:

Gen 15:4 "... a son coming from your own body will be your heir."

Gen 15:6 Abram believed the LORD

They had faith for future,

hope that it would happen....

Rubem Alves once said: "Hope is hearing the melody of the future. Faith is dancing to it."

Quoted by Pastor Bill Burnett June 8, 2003 THE RESTORING OF HOPE

But Abraham’s fast dance of faith

got slower and slower by the decade.

Before: They Trusted God’s Promise .... Now

2. They Bypassed God’s Promise


Abraham and Sarah

nursery tents ...empty !

arms - childless !

hearts - aching !

God had promised


as numerous as stars.

He even changed Abram’s Name:

Abram to Abraham (= "father of a multitude")

W. each passing decade

Dreams Died harder

By now Sarah approximately

75 years old

What could they do?

Would they:

Call up heaven’s Customer Service,

and go to the top?

ask for someone w. real authority??

Company President??

No, They didn’t show negativity:

They’d show positive creativity thinking!!!

Abraham proposed to God

slave Eliezer of Damascus

become his heir....

But God - didn’t want

generic substitute

for his brand name promise...

Sarah got even more creative

Heaven silent,

She’d connect

husband & Hagar..

Hagar the handmaiden

could be Abraham’s

Platonic playmate

a surrogate lover,

a substitute mother

and Sarah would adopt

their child as her own.

Abraham = the only husband I know

who had his wife’s permission

for a mid-life fling at age 85.

What happened:

In rapid order

Hagar pregnant

Ishmael born

Hagar gloated

Sarah jealous

Hagar expelled

And the roots

of the Arab / Israeli tension

exploded across the centuries

Muslims claim

Ishmael as their ancestor,

but Jews would claim

Ishmael = plan of man,

not promise of God...


the lesson is clear

point is plain....

When you try to play

God’s game

by your rules,

you’re playing with fire....

Creative substitutues

for God’swill

create catastrophe...

They Trusted & Bypassed God’sPromise

3. They Laughed at God’s Promise

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion