Abraham and Sarah Laugh at God

Yahweh (The Lord) can be such a comedian. The tip off that Yahweh was taking the stage comes when we learn that Abraham was ninety-nine years old.  In Genesis 17, Yahweh appears to Abraham, not for the first time, and introduces himself.  “I am El Shaddai, (God Almighty).”  Fittingly, Abraham fell on his face in worship and honor.  Yahweh, El Shaddai, talks to Abraham about being a great nation and having numerous offspring.  But when Yahweh tells Abraham that He will bless his wife Sarah and through her “I have given you a son.”  What Yahweh is promising is a good as fulfilled.  At this, Abraham again falls on his face and laughs into the dust.  What a comedian that El Shaddai is.  He may be God Almighty but a child when he is going on 100 and his wife will be 90?  But God isn’t joking, well maybe ol’ El Shaddai is, because he already has a name for the kid, Isaac, “Laughter.”

Then in chapter 18, three guys show up out of the shimmering desert heat while Abraham is taking a siesta. What follows could have been a scene from a Marx brothers movie.  Abraham jumps up and hopes they will stay and have a bit to eat.  He begins issuing orders. “Sarah, get 21 quarts of flour and bake some cakes.”  That’s enough bread to feed an army.  Then he races out to the herd, picks a year- old calf and orders a young man to butcher it a make some veal cutlets.  “Oh, and don’t’ forget the cheese curds.”  (You didn’t know that Abraham was from Wisconsin?)

While the men feast.  One of the men, who turns out to be Yahweh, asks about Sarah.  “Oh, she’s in the tent.”  But she’s eves dropping.  Yahweh, in the guise of a desert traveler says, “When I come back next year, Sarah will have a son.”  This time it’s Sarah who laughs, “Yeah, you bet, I’m worn out and Abraham isn’t the man he once was.  We’re going to have the pleasure of sex again and I will get pregnant and finally have a child of my own? Who is this not so funny comedian anyway?”  Yahweh, who is not only almighty but knows a whole lot, well knows everything about everything, says, “Ah but you did laugh.  You’ll see.  When I come back a year from now you will be holding a son.  So, the joke will be on you.  After all, I’m not God Almighty for nothing.”

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