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AbraHAm: God Brought Laughter to Abram’s House

Genesis 17:17

Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?


Beloved in Christ, today let us appreciate the mysterious, joy-inducing ways of our Sovereign Lord. As we open the pages of God's Word, let us journey back to the book of Genesis, specifically to chapters 17 and 18, the first mentions of laughter, where we encounter an extraordinary revelation of divine humour. Let us embrace the narrative of Abraham and Sarah, two venerable ancient figures, and their encounter with a laughter that sprang from the wells of joy itself.


As we immerse ourselves in their story, let us remember that Abraham and Sarah lived in a time far removed from ours. Their daily struggles were different, yet they shared the same human emotions we experience today. Trials marked their lives, by moments of despair and longing. They carried in their hearts an unfulfilled promise - the promise of a child. But not without first changing Abram’s name to Abraham: Genesis 17:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.


God had assured Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. Yet, years rolled by, and Sarah, a barren woman now in her nineties, still had not borne a child. Can we imagine their despair? Their longing? Their questioning? Yet, amidst their doubts and human frailty, they clung to God's promise.


And then came the visit of three mysterious strangers. They were messengers from God who brought a proclamation that was almost too extraordinary to believe. Sarah, in her old age, would bear a son!


Sarah, overhearing this proclamation, laughed within herself. Not a laugh of joy or faith, but of disbelief and irony. She thought, "Now that I am worn out and my lord is old, will I have this pleasure?"


It was a laugh of incredulity, a laugh that echoed the deep disappointments and delayed dreams of her life. Yet God heard her laughter and He was not offended: He did not rebuke her. Instead, He took that laugh and transformed it.


God said, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son."


Within a year, just as God had promised, Sarah gave birth to a son. They named him Isaac, which means "he laughs". God transformed her laughter of disbelief into a laughter of joy and delight. God turned her sorrow into rejoicing, her doubt into faith, her despair into hope. God brought laughter and joy they could never have imagined into their lives.


Beloved, this story holds a profound truth that resonates even today. No matter how impossible, how laughable our dreams may seem, God is able. He is not limited by our human understanding or by the constraints of nature. He can and will fulfil His promises, often in ways that exceed our expectations and bring us joy beyond measure.


The story of Abraham and Sarah reminds us that our God is a God of joy, a God who delights in surprising us with His goodness. He is a God who transforms our disbelief into faith, our sorrow into joy, our laughter of scorn into a laughter of delight.


So, my dear brothers and sisters, as we go through life, let us remember this divine humour. Let us remember we serve a God who can bring laughter out of our tears, joy out of our sorrow, and fulfilment out of our emptiness.


Our God is a God who laughs with us, cries with us, and walks with us through every season of life. Let us place our hopes, dreams, and desires in His capable hands, trusting in His promises, and waiting for His perfect timing. And when His promises come to pass, let us laugh with joy, giving thanks to our God, who loves to bring laughter and joy to His children. Amen.