I like to laugh, and I was starting to wonder, does God laugh, too? I read the Bible on at least a weekly basis, and I’ve never once laughed out loud, to my knowledge. Have you? I set out to find instances in the Bible that are funny. I asked around, I read some articles/papers on the subject, and I’ve decided that maybe the funniest book of the Bible is Job. You read that right: Job.
See, Job starts off in an odd way. He’s going along with his life, honoring God. God is happy with Job and has blessed him. So, one day, while God is just hanging out, he notices Satan, going around and through the earth and strikes up a conversation with his rival. God seems to taunt Satan by asking, “Have you considered my servant Job?” Woah, there, God. I’d like it if you did NOT draw Satan’s attention in my general direction. I have enough of his kind to deal with, though, I’m probably not faithful enough to be held up by God as an example [blush]
The conversation that follows goes something like this:
God: So, Job is awesome.
Satan: Yeah, because you’ve spoiled him, that’s the only reason he loves you.
God: Not true!
Satan: Then let me take a crack at him and see if I can prove my theory.
God: Okay, but you’re in for it.
And then Satan kills Job’s kids, destroys his property, and when that doesn’t work, starts giving Job some interesting cosm(et)ic surgery. Job’s friends show up to grieve with him, and only end up making him feel worse. In the end, Job has a few questions for God, which are, I know from experience, the same questions we ask when all hell breaks loose in our lives. After Job puts his questions to God, the heavenly father lets Job have it. He gives a loooooooong speech, detailing all that he’s done in creating the universe and finally asks, in Job 38:4, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell ME, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely, you know!”
Ouch. It was almost as if God was saying, “What? You weren’t there? It was just me?” I can really appreciate the sarcasm God uses, here. As my favorite button says, “I speak sarcasm as a second language.” I will no longer see my sarcastic attitude as a fault – I’m going to see it as Godlike – so, thanks for that, Book of Job.
I’ve always heard that I should strive for the patience of Job. I think, under the circumstances, he wasn’t so patient. If he had been more patient, God would not have had cause to go on for four chapters about the vast difference between their offices – God intricately and decidedly created all things, setting them into motion, shepherding them in their way, gently painting sunsets and arranging the stars and creating boundaries for the sea and sky and Job who got to enjoy it all with very little responsibility. It’s not the humor of Job I covet, but the good humor with which God forgave him for his impertinent questions.
It gives me hope that not only does God have a sense of humor, but it appears to be something like mine. I will continue to search the scriptures for possible hilarity and document them here (to be continued)