Q: #11. Does God have a sense of humor?
By: Steve Shirley
A: If you spend very much time reading the Bible, it becomes quite apparent that God is VERY funny at times. Since God directly inspired the words that were written in the Bible, we know that He felt it was important to have humor in its pages from time to time. There are dozens of examples of this humor, but let me list some that have made me laugh. (Forgive me if my sense of humor is a bit odd.)
Nehemiah: The men of Judah were marrying women from the heathen lands
around them. This was against what God had commanded, and so upset Nehemiah
that he took some rather drastic measures to try and make them stop.
(Neh 13:25) And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and pluckt off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.
Jonah: The whole book of Jonah has its humorous moments. What I find
particularly funny though, is the reason Jonah didn't want go to Nineveh and
tell the people of that city to repent as God asked. He did obey God and went
to Nineveh (after running away and being swallowed by the great fish first),
and they did repent. Here is what Jonah said to God afterwards:
(Jonah 4:1-3) But it displeased Jonah exceedingly (that they repented), and he was very angry. (2) And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest the of the evil. (3) Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
In other words, Jonah didn't like the people of Nineveh, and just knew God was going to forgive them if they repented, because He was kind and gracious. Since they did repent, and God forgave them, Jonah said, "Ok, just kill me now Lord."
Aaron: While Moses was up on Mt. Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments,
the people decided they wanted to make a golden calf to worship. They asked
Aaron to make it for them, and he did. When Moses came down from the mountain,
and angrily confronted Aaron about why he did this evil thing, look at Aaron's
(Ex 32:25) And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it to me: THEN I CAST IT INTO THE FIRE, AND THERE CAME OUT THIS GOLDEN CALF. (caps emphasis mine)
Miriam and Aaron: Miriam and Aaron were criticizing Moses (Num 12:1)
because he had married a Cushite (a dark skinned woman). What was God's
(Num 12:10) ... and behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and behold, she was leprous.
(Moses interceded for her, and shortly after, God healed her.)
Elijah: Elijah decided to have a contest with the prophets of Baal to see
whose god was real. The contest was to kill a bull, cut it into pieces, lay it
on the wood of an altar, and then they would each call on their god to see
whose would light fire to the wood. The prophets of Baal called upon him all
morning with no answer. Look at what Elijah did next.
(1 Kin 18:27) And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud (shout louder): for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing (busy), or he is in a journey (on a trip), or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
Balaam: God was angry that Balaam disobeyed Him.
As Balaam was riding his donkey, the angel of the Lord blocked their path several times, but only the
donkey could see the angel. When the donkey tried to avoid the angel each time,
Balaam became angry that his donkey went off course, and he beat her. Finally,
God caused the donkey to speak, and look at this hilarious exchange.
(Num 22:28-30)(NASB) And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?" (29) Then Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now." (30) The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?" And he said, "No."
I find it hilarious as well, that Balaam doesn't even seem fazed that he is suddenly arguing with his donkey. Can you imagine the reaction if anyone was watching Balaam arguing with his donkey, or if he tried to explain it to someone else?
The Philistines: In (1 Sam 5:1-5), the Philistines
defeated Israel in battle and captured the ark of God. They placed it in the
temple of their god Dagon. When they got up the next morning, Dagon had fallen
on his face. They picked the idol up, and when the next morning came, Dagon had fallen over again, but
this time his head and hands were cut off and laying on the threshold. From
that point on, the priests who entered Dagon's temple never stepped on the
threshold again. We can see that this "tradition" went on for hundreds of
years afterwards (Zeph 1:9).
Can you imagine how funny that must have looked? Were the priests getting a running start and jumping over the threshold? Did they somehow try to slide along the side walls?
Solomon: Look at some of the Proverbs Solomon wrote.
(Prov 27:15) A continual dropping in a very rainy day And a contentious woman are alike.
(Prov 25:24) It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, Than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.
(Prov 21:19) It is better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman.
(Prov 11:22) As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, So is a fair woman which is without discretion.
(Prov 26:11) As a dog returneth to his vomit, So a fool returneth to his folly.
(Prov 26:13) The slothful (lazy) man saith, There is a lion in the way; A lion is in the streets.
Achish: Achish was the king of Gath. When David was running from Saul, he
went to Achish, hoping he would not be recognized. However, the servants of
Achish recognized David, and he was afraid, so he decided to act insane. Look
at what Achish said when he saw David.
(1 Sam 21:15) Have I need of (don't we have enough) mad men, that ye have have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?
I LOVE these stories. I could go on and on....
The Bible says that God does laugh (Ps 59:8)(Ps 37:13)(Ps 2:4)(Prov 1:26). We can see His sense of humor all through the Bible. We can see it in creation. Look at some of the animals he created: penguin, ostrich, giraffe, platypus, kangaroo, anteater, etc... Look at all us crazy people he created. The old joke goes, "If you think God doesn't have a sense of humor, just look at yourself in the mirror."
How many of us have experienced God's sense of humor firsthand? I know I have! Let me give a few recent memorable examples...
Most people who know me, know that I am a bit of a perfectionist. A while back at work, a co-worker commented that she couldn't believe she had found a mistake on something I did. I replied (kiddingly), something like, "Yeah, it IS hard to believe, because I so rarely make a mistake." My boss said, "Ok, I think I am gonna be sick now," and leaves. Of course, as soon as he leaves, I find an even bigger mistake that I have to point out when he comes back.
I also hate to lose. I just have to laugh at the lessons God has put me through to die to this. Recent example: playing a game of Scrabble with a friend, and sensing that voice of God telling me I was going to lose every game, which of course I did (when I rarely lose at Scrabble). Or, while bowling with my family over the holidays, I needed a strike or spare to beat my wife (I couldn't lose to my wife!). While standing at the line getting ready to roll the ball, I heard that voice inside again telling me I wasn't going to get it. I started to laugh. I got a split.
There is an old saying, you never fail a test with God, you just keep taking it over and over until you pass. Man... I can just picture God laughing at this sometimes. I don't know about you, but I have had my share of tests to take and attempt to pass. There has been times I could do nothing BUT laugh when God would keep bringing up a trial He knew I needed to pass, over and over and over and over and.... Prayerfully, we pass eventually, but then we just get a NEW test to pass. It is all about becoming more and more like Jesus, but the path isn't always easy. However, if we look for the humor in these trials, we can sometimes find it. I can guarantee you that if you pray for patience, for example, God is going to send people and things into your life that will drive nuts. If you ask for a better love walk, God is going to send some unlovable people to you. There are no coincidences in life, God is TOTALLY in control. God gave us a sense of humor, and we are made in His image. He obviously has a sense of humor.