Bible Stories: Laughing at God

Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?” (Genesis 18:11-12, NLT)

Angels visited Abraham one day. 

He was sitting at the entrance to his tent when he had three visitors. Scholars debate whether the three visitors were the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or just God the Father and two angels.

Genesis 18 opens with …

The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day. He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby (Genesis 18:1-2).

Imagine just sitting on a hot day and God appears.  

I think Abraham instantly knew it was God because he looked up and the men were standing there. They didn’t walk up to his tent approaching from afar, Abraham looked up and saw them.

I love the fact that the three men ate dinner with Abraham. At the end of the dinner, one of them said to Abraham …

I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son! (Genesis 18:10)

Abraham left his former homeland of Ur when he was 75 years old. At that time, God promised that Abraham would be the father of a great nation (Genesis 12). Fifteen years later at age 90, Abraham was told in a vision that he would have a son (Genesis 18).

When Abraham was visited by God in Genesis 18, he was now close to one hundred years old and still had no son. The impossibility of God’s promise was apparent. 

That’s why Sarah laughed.

Even though Sarah laughed to herself, God noticed …

Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son” (Genesis 18:13-14).

How many of us have given up hope for our dreams? Have we ever considered God’s will for our lives while smirking, “Yeah, right, how can this happen to me?”  

God gives us impossible dreams.  

You might hear God today in the drive-through at Wendy’s. If that happens to me, I will be tempted to laugh. How about you? During our disbelief, let’s remember that God told Sarah, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Evidently not. The story continues in Genesis … 

The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age (Genesis 21:1-2).

I have prayer requests that I have lifted before the Lord for years.  

Yesterday, I became discouraged because God called me to lead a ministry of discipling the nations and I’ve prayed since 2016 for adequate resources. In January, I will turn into ancient history after achieving 70 years of age. 

Is it too late for me?

I understand Sarah’s laughter. I have doubts too.

But the story of Sarah has a great ending. Sarah said after Isaac was born …

Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me (Genesis 21:6). 

The laughter of discouragement in Genesis 18 and another type of laughter – of victory in Genesis 21.

I’m inspired by reading about Sarah’s laughter because God had the last laugh. He always fulfills His promises. Let’s take courage and let’s plan to laugh a lot in the future.

Because nothing is too difficult for God!

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