by Given O. Blakely


Interestingly, there are no jokes in the Bible. Moses and the prophets never told a joke. John the Baptist was not noted for humorous anecdotes, and the Son of God never entertained people with a funny story. None of the Apostolic writings contain humor, as conceived by the world. You will find no entertaining humor there--none at all. Things that appear humorous are sarcastic, with an objective purpose. Nothing in God's Word is calculated to promote empty laughter.

Church history records few moments of humor." lfred North Whitehead said, "The total absence of humor from the Bible is one of the most singular things in all of literature." It is true, "A joyful heart makes a cheerful face" (Prov 15:13, NASB), and "A joyful heart is good medicine" (Prov 17:22, NASB). That is, however, quite different than mere levity. This is a rationale joy, proceeding from perception. No thinking person will oppose humor, and speak derogatorily of laughter. The place of these things when presenting the Word of God, however, is open to question. There are things in the Word of God that appear humorous--but they always have a sobering point. They are more sarcasm than humor. When, for instance, "God laughs" at the raging heathen, it is not because they are funny. He laughs in derision because of their stupidity. Hear the Word of the Lord. "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 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 bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion" (Psa 2:1-6).

Another similar case is found in Psalm 37:12-13. "The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming." And again, "See what they spew from their mouths-- they spew out swords from their lips, and they say, "Who can hear us?" But you, O LORD, laugh at them; you scoff at all those nations" (Psa 59:7-8).

I realize some will take issue with me on this, and that is their preogoative. There are some facts that must, however, be acknowledged--particularly in relation to the proclamation of the Word of God. 1. There are no jokes in the Bible. 2. God has not represented Himself as having a sense of humor. 3. Neither Moses nor the prophets taught by humor. 4. The Lord Jesus did not teach by humor. 5. The Apostles provided no humorous anecdotes for their readers. We are not against jokes. We are not against those that tell them. However, we cannot receive the representation that says "God has a sense of humor." Mind you, I am NOT saying He does not! I am saying that is NOT how He wants to be known. The debilitating effects of levity tells us it should not be our emphasis. It is more like seasoning in our lives--a little of it goes a long way, and an abundance of it will spoil the product. Having said that, we will get on to higher and better things next Monday. Then--"The Power Is In The Word of God!" Have a joyous week-end with Christ and His people!

_______________________ In joyful expectation of glory, Given O. Blakely