Laughter is a curious thing. It can show immense joy, bereavement, sorrow, hurt, cunningness or even deceit. I intentionally present this list to show that even though laughter might come through in more negative ways than positive; we always think of laughter positively first. Perhaps it is a window into the heart and the sacred heavens.
When you get to first Peter three you get to a list of people that might be considered the superstars of faith. In this list we see the name Sarah. The strange thing is that when I read about the life of Sarah in the book of Genesis I am torn. I don’t think most people would consider the description we get of her as a life of great faith. In fact, I see a lot of things that look opposite of faith such as vengeance, anger, betrayal, and abuse… how can those descriptions be reconciled with great faith? She’s one of the last women in the Bible that I would consider as a role model or somebody of Godly obedience; is it simply a Hebrew Contronym?! What is going on in Genesis and 1 Peter? Has my theology of her in Genesis always been wrong?
We get very little in the Bible that we actually know directly from her and when we do get something, we’re not really sure how to read it; such as in Genesis 21 where I’ve always wondered, is this sarcasm? I hate to say it, but I’ve always pictured her as a bitter mess.
Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” Genesis 21:6 NASB
Maybe you have wondered the same thing and perhaps we can consider 1 Peter to shed some light on our Theology. There is an element in the New Testament when sometimes we see Jesus and other authors set the record straight. What I mean by that, is perhaps throughout (OT) time people interpreted the narrative incorrectly (as we often might continue to do) and through the New Testament lens, the authors are inspired to paint a slightly different picture. We might get the story clarified. So let’s consider that take…
In Sarah’s mind children are everything and, right or wrong; are the basis of her self worth. When her years of child bearing seem to be over she finds herself living in a wasteland… or does she?
In fact, consider for a moment, that Sarah’s situation might even require more faith than Abraham. We always consider Abraham to be an archetype of Faith in the scripture. But what if Sarah actually had greater faith? Perhaps because of the culture where men where typically “over” women for the last several thousand years, we were given Abraham, but would this passage suggest that to a later audience when the cultural paradigm “against women” would shift or change that we might actually consider Sarah to possibly even have greater faith than Abraham? Should she be our 21st century archetype of faith? Her faith came from the inside-out; Abraham’s came from the outside-in. Everything in the scripture would indicate that God is more concerned about the heart first; it is described as a greater attribute of holiness than the outside (although that is also important).
Perhaps Peter was right. As much as we get the idea that Sarah’s life was surrounded with hurt and bitterness (and who knows what else) we also might get the picture that she believed it was entirely possible within her humanity for something of incredible magnitude to still happen through God even when Abraham didn’t. (And remember in the hebraic mindset, the idea of living in constant toil meant that you might be even further blessed in the sacred realm).
This is where I want you to consider what real faith looks like. That even though the world left no consideration… they called it impossible by science and every other logical consideration…
Sarah laughed. The world says there’s no chance, but her laughter says otherwise. So maybe she was a scoffer, but maybe she was scoffing at the world! Do you believe that your body is a sacred temple for God‘s divine work?! Do you think that you’re limited by what the world has told you?
1 Peter is all about claiming your life in sanctification. I see Sarah definitively described in this book… and it is divine.
Laughter is a Contronym in Hebrew. It can mean mockery to some, but to others it can mean the deepest faith resulting in Joy. Perhaps in your free will you can claim more than you ever thought possible. Which one will your life represent? Which side of the Contronym will you live? Will you allow your laughter to show the mockery, deceit, and lies (scoffers) of the world, or will you choose to ignite the divine inside of you; that your laughter might be the very essence of the Lord in you.
God has blessed me and my boys with a [superwoman for the kingdom] wife and mother very similar to Sarah in that she is always working from the heart. We Love you and are grateful to have you co-lead our family Krista! Together we choose joy and believe to live for a sacred kingdom.
Don’t fall into believing that the world can mandate God or anything that has been given to you through Him. Choose joy! Choose Faith.