Funny Business


The Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. (Psalm 37:13)

God is one tough audience. Only twice is he caught laughing, and both times it’s in the Old Testament and at the bad guys. Apparently, after a long day’s work (which can seem like a thousand years), God tunes in to Comedy Sintral for a few chuckles.

It’s funny—or maybe not—that God isn’t more of a laugher. You’d think with the destiny of the universe in the bag he’d be pretty loose. Even Jesus seems kind of somber most of the time, but then as the man of sorrows he probably had to keep a low comic profile.  Nothing would be more disturbing than a giggling guy on a cross.

As far as God is concerned (and he’s usually right), the wicked make the best comedians. You don’t see God laughing at the righteous. This is because the wicked know how to have a good time. The righteous, on the other hand, are generally the party-poopers in any situation; they’re too busy racking up holiness points and shy away from anything that could result in a penalty. As the righteous know, chuckling at the wrong thing is a major infraction.

The wicked couldn’t care less, which is a plus for comedians. The guys in Sodom performed with gay abandon. Yes, it got them fried, but it was still the best show in town. By contrast, all Lot could offer God was the torment of his righteous soul; noble but definitely no laughing matter. The wicked are just in it for the fun, which tends to produce the funniest lines and best slapstick. Even the righteous can be funny when they veer into transgression. Think of Lot’s salty wife or Samson’s hair routine or Jacob’s hairy shtick. Being good generally assures a comedic bomb.

This, of course, raises the issue of humor in heaven.  If the good comedians are banned from the New Jerusalem, who’s going to make God laugh?  I suppose the righteous can hop around in their white robes like idiots, but I’m guessing the most God would offer up for that is a bored smile.

There is another possibility. Maybe God and the saints will be able to watch the wicked writhing in hell. After all, knowledge of their ultimate fate is what made them laughable to God in the first place. It seems only natural, then, that sinners meeting their eternal doom would be really, really funny. It would be such a waste of brimstone if God couldn’t get at least a few chuckles out of it. In fact, not watching the wicked’s final torment would be like missing the final episode of Lost. That in itself would be an unforgivable sin.

Might as well loosen up and enjoy the show.


One Response

  1. I confess I just couldn’t get into “Lost”. My sister is obsessed with it, but I just felt like I was being jerked around by lazy writers who had no idea where they were going or what, ultimately, they wanted to say. And as soon as a character started to become likeable the writers would make them unlikeable. It annoyed me. I need heroes to care about in a story, or else… I just tune out.

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