Friday, August 30, 2013

Joy and Laughter in the Bible

It is a common misconception that there are no references to humorous concepts or laughter in the Bible. Here are a few passages that indicate otherwise...

Proverbs 17:22
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Psalm 126:2
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

Job 8:21
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting.

Ecclesiastes 3:4
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Psalm 2.4
He who sits in the heavens laughs

Proverbs 15:13
A glad heart makes a cheerful face

Psalm 32:11
...shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Genesis 21:6
And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.”

Abraham, Sarah and the Angel, 1520
Jan Provost

Proverbs 14:13
Even in laughter the heart may ache

Genesis 17:17
Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”

Ephesians 5:4
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Psalm 16:11 your presence there is fullness of joy; 
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 4:7
You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.

Psalm 37:13
But the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.

Job 12:4
I am a laughingstock to my friends; 
I, who called to God and he answered me

Romans 12:9
Let love be genuine....hold fast to what is good.

Ecclesiastes 7:3
Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
Whoever channeled this bit of advice 
might want to "rethink" this theory, 
but I think I get it: 
compassion fills people with hope

Colossians 4:6
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
What an incredible speech from a seemingly unlikely source.
Goes to show how much heart goes into humor.

Zephaniah 3:17
...he will exult over you with loud singing
I cannot sing worth a bean, but I sure love it! 

Psalm 47:1
Clap your hands, all peoples! 
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

Psalm 43:4
I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Amphion and the Naiads Playing the Lyre, 1817
Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun
Private Collection

James 5:13
Is anyone cheerful? 
Let him sing praise.

Philippians 4:4

Luke 6:45
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

1 Kings 18:27
Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”

Irrespective of one's religious (or nonreligious) beliefs, joy and laughter in the Bible and other wisdom writings sit side by side with tales of agony, pain, and heartbreak. Be it God's world, or be it ours, laughter and joy are most certainly fruit in the garden of life. 

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