I have three kids. I love all of them more than life itself and would gladly give everything I have to see them happy, healthy, and holy.
I remember vividly the day each one of them was born. I won’t bore you with the details, but I remember the time they were each born, what the room looked like, the struggles of that day, and the euphoria when they were each born.
I would imagine that just about every parent reading this right now has similar memories.
That’s why Sarah’s reaction to Isaac’s birth is so hilarious to me. Instead of weeping tears of joy, she laughs.
The days of my kids’ births were filled with a lot of emotions, but I don’t remember laughter being my first reaction.
Why Did She Laugh?
There’s one mega-obvious reason why Sarah laughs when Isaac was born: She laughed when she was told she would eventually have Isaac in the first place.
Way back in Genesis 18:12, when Sarah hears the prophecy concerning her impending pregnancy, she bursts out laughing (which the angels call her out on).
To be fair, Abraham also laughs when he finds out about Isaac (Genesis 17:17). Clearly, both of them think God is playing one not-so-hilarious joke on both of them.
They laugh though because the whole thing seems insanely comical. How can a woman who is “past child-bearing age” ever hope to have children? It breaks the very laws of nature!
Fortunately, God is the Creator of nature, so that’s not a problem for Him.
Sarah’s laughter, then, is almost a natural reaction. As ludicrous as the whole thing sounds to begin with, she can’t help but laugh at its fulfillment.
And, as she says, “everyone will laugh with her.”
Let’s Laugh With Sarah
This whole scene could make one think that Sarah views God’s promises as a type of “holy insanity.” She could believe in miracles, but miracles that apply to her? Absurd.
I don’t really think that’s what she’s doing here.
When she talks about her own laughter — and the laughter of others — she’s talking about the unbridled joy that comes with God fulfilling His promises, no matter how unlikely it may be.
Think about what Isaac’s birth would not only mean for her, but for everyone that saw her.
Have you ever seen a woman in her 90’s walking hand-in-hand with a boy that’s not even ten? If you do, you most likely think that it’s her grandchild. Or, even her great grandchild.
Imagine you take the time to ask her about their relationship, and she then responds that he’s her son. You’ll almost immediately think he was adopted. “Good for her,” you might even say to yourself.
But then, she responds that he’s her biological child. She had him when she was 87, dontcha know.
When she says that, you’ll have one of two reactions. Either you’ll think that she’s outright lying to you, or you’ll most likely laugh uncomfortably because the idea of giving brith at 87 doesn’t make any physical sense.
But through that laughter — if you believe her — you’ll marvel and wonder how it ever happened.
Which will eventually lead you to God.