In recent columns we spoke of the half-brothers Ishmael and Isaac. Recall that Ishmael was born to Abraham and his wife Sarah’s servant Hagar; inasmuch as Sarah had not borne Abraham a son to inherit God’s promises.
However, there was animosity between Sarah and her maidservant Hagar from the time of Hagar’s conception. The result was the birth of Ishmael. There would also be animosity between their sons Ishmael and Isaac. Such animosity is very much alive today.
The Bible reveals that Abraham and Sarah did subsequently have a son according to God’s promise when Sarah was 90 years old. Their son’s name was Isaac. Recall at Isaac’s weaning celebration, when Ishmael was in his early teen years; he scoffed at his young half-brother.
“So the child (Isaac) grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing (mocking).” Genesis 21:8-9
The Hebrew for ‘scoff’ has several other relevant synonyms including ‘laugh,’ ‘scorn,’ ‘deride,’ or ‘make sport.’
Later in the Psalms David wrote about the suffering of the future Messiah who would be of the lineage of Abraham, Isaac…and David. While suffering on the cross, David’s offspring would also be mocked and scorned. He would be despised by the people He was sent to save.
“But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people. All those who see Me ridicule Me; they shoot out the lip (laugh me to scorn), they shake the head, saying, ‘He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him’!” Psalm 22:7-8
A millennium after that psalm was written, it was perfectly fulfilled.
“And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, ‘He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.’ The soldiers also mocked Him…saying, ‘If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself’.’” Luke 23:35-37
Therefore, God’s chosen descendant of Abraham to receive the covenant, namely Isaac, was laughed at, mocked and scorned, and Jesus the Son of God through Isaac, was also laughed at, mocked and scorned by Ishmael, the progenitor of the Arab nations.
Paul, in the New Testament reaffirmed that the enmity between Ishmael and Isaac had worsened, i.e. he said that not only had Ishmael mocked Isaac, the mocking had elevated to persecution. Persecution in this context means to ‘pursue with repeated acts of enmity.’
But the issue of laughter is far from over.
Let’s review another Psalm that addressed the issue of laughter and derision.
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision.” Psalm 2:2-4
Notice who it is that will be laughing and deriding in the future. The former object of scorn and mocking will be doing the laughing.
The Bible in fact reveals that all who reject wisdom, which is embodied in Christ and offered freely, will partake of God’s wrath.
“Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.” Proverbs 1:24-27
It is so easy to focus on the love of God that often God’s righteousness and justice, which requires His wrath on those who reject His Son, is overlooked.
And so it is, the One who was/is laughed at, mocked and persecuted will unquestionably have the last laugh.
The world had best not take lightly the promises and consequences made through Abraham, Isaac…and David.
Again, the most significant events to occur in future are not even discussed.