Monday, March 26, 2012

Isaac: The Laughter of God

Genesis 17:17-19 NKJV 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?" 18 And Abraham said to God, "Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!" 19 Then God said: "No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.

Abraham laughs in his heart and God tells him to name his son Isaac, laughter. Did Abraham laugh in skepticism or wonder? Then, after Abraham circumcised his entire household in obedience to God’s command, the angels appear bringing the news to Sarah who also laughs, but in doubt or skepticism.

Genesis 18:10-15 NKJV 10 And He said, "I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son." (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" 13 And the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?' 14 "Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son." 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, "I did not laugh," for she was afraid. And He said, "No, but you did laugh!"

The next year when Isaac, the promised seed, was born, Sarah laughs again. This time with delight!

Genesis 21:6-7 NKJV 6 And Sarah said, "God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me." 7 She also said, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age."

The connotation of the word laughter can be either positive or negative. At the same time that Sarah laughs with delight and invites the whole world to laugh with her, Ishmaels laughs in scorn.

Genesis 21:8-9 8 So the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned. 9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing.

The word can also mean to play or make sport. Judgment came on the Philistines when they brought their captive Samson before them to make them laugh.

Judges 16:25 KJV 25 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport (laugh). And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.

Little did they know that judgment was upon them! Samson pulled down the pillars on their heads and killed 3,000 people that day.

In naming Isaac, God shows us a shadow of Jesus’ birth and second coming. There was great joy or delight when Jesus was born. Jesus says that the time of His second coming will be like the time of Samson and Noah. People will be laughing and playing and not realizing that judgment is imminent.

Matthew 24:38 NKJV 38 "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

Psalms 2:1-6 NKJV 1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us." 4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion."

The time of Jesus’ birth was a time of great joy; His second coming will be a joy to those who eagerly wait for Him, but a time of judgment to those who hate Him.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and be blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart

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