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Laughing Out Loud

Today's Devotional

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. Genesis 21:6

Comedian John Branyan said, “We didn’t think up laughter; that wasn’t our idea. That was given to us by [God who] knew we were going to need it to get through life. [Because] He knew we were going to have hardship, He knew we were going to have struggles, He knew . . . stuff was going to happen. . . . Laughter is a gift.”

A quick look at the creatures God made can bring laughter, whether because of their oddities (such as duck-billed platypuses) or antics (such as playful otters). He made mammals that live in the ocean and long-legged birds that can’t fly. God clearly has a sense of humor; and because we’re created in His image, we too have the joy of laughter.

We first see the word laughter in the Bible in the story of Abraham and Sarah. God promised this elderly couple a child: “A son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir” (Genesis 15:4). And God had said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars . . . . So shall your offspring be” (v. 5). When Sarah finally gave birth at ninety, Abraham named their son Isaac, which means “laughter.” As Sarah exclaimed, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me” (21:6). It amazed her that she could nurse a child at her age! God transformed her skeptical laughter when she’d heard she’d give birth (18:12) into laughter of sheer joy.

Thank God for the gift of laughter!

When has laughter been “good medicine”? How can finding humor in your life help even in the most difficult times?

Dear God, thank You for giving me the gift of laughter. 


Genesis 17:17 is the first time that laughter is mentioned in the book of Genesis when Abraham laughs at the idea that his wife could have a child at age ninety. Some commentators have argued that Abraham’s laughter was one of joy; others believe it was skeptical laughter. Sarah is also described as laughing at the idea after overhearing visitors sent from God prophesy that she and Abraham would have a son (18:12–15). Later, the same Hebrew word is used to express the reaction of Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar. It’s translated “mocking” by the niv (21:9) but “laughing” in the esv, making the reason why Sarah reacted so angrily unclear and a matter of debate among scholars. Some have argued that Ishmael’s laughter was mocking or abusive behavior, while others suggest that Ishmael’s laughter was perceived by Sarah as Ishmael being a threat to Isaac’s role in the family.

By |2023-04-28T02:33:03-04:00April 28th, 2023|
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