“This verse means you can make fun of God, but he will laugh right back at you,” says Elizabeth, 10. “It says next that he is gentle and kind when you are not proud.”
Another translation of this Proverb reads, “Surely He (God) scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 3:34).
“God doesn’t like people when they laugh at him,” says Meredith, 6. “He gets mad. When they are not proud, God loves them.”
You can be sure God is not amused when he laughs at a mocker. This is the laughter of a heavyweight champion of the world in response to taunting from a child who wants to fight. You don’t want to hear this laughter. It may be your last memory before the lights go out.
Like the child who can’t imagine the power of the champ’s right hook, so the scornful remain arrogantly ignorant of God’s power. The proud mocker’s laughter returns to haunt him as illustrated in another Proverb: “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him” (Proverbs 26:27).
The image of a stone rolling back over the one who meant it to roll on an unsuspecting traveler reminds me of the “Roadrunner” cartoon series. The most ingenious traps keep backfiring on the supposedly wily coyote.
The Book of Esther tells the classic story of a man who became the victim of his own scheme. So great was the hatred of a man named Haman for a righteous Jew named Mordecai that he plotted to destroy all the Jews in the Persian Empire. So certain that his plot would succeed, he built a gallows for Mordecai. Guess who hung on the gallows?
“The Lord does not bless and laughs at the ones who don’t believe in him and say he is stupid,” says Shelby, 11. “They are stupid to laugh at God because he is real and very powerful. God loves and blesses those who believe and love him.”
There’s a tendency among the arrogant to interpret God’s longsuffering as weakness. The Apostle Peter wrote that God is “longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). Imagine how everyone must have mocked Noah for building the ark. Noah warned, but only his family listened.
The mockery that Jesus endured during his trials and crucifixion is a source of never-ending amazement to me. Here is the Son of God, who could have summoned legions of angels to fight for him, enduring jeers and blows without one word or act of retaliation. Instead, he cried out on the cross, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
“The Lord laughs at those who laugh at him, but he is kind to those who are not proud means that God loves both of them,” says Landon, 11. “Although God loves both, he weeps for those who are lost who might laugh at him. But he smiles at those who love him and are his children.”
Think about this: God is never threatened by our arrogance.
Memorize this truth: “Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 3:34).
Questions to consider: Is God laughing at your arrogance and weeping over the consequences of the destructive road you’ve chosen? Or, is he smiling because you’ve humbled yourself to accept the grace of forgiveness Jesus purchased on the cross? Can you smile today because you know the joy of living in the light of his love?
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