We don’t often think of God as laughing, though we should think of it more than we do. The God presented on the pages of the Bible isn’t depressed and He isn’t filled with fear or anxiety. God has the settled confidence of the One who both knows and controls the future.
Psalm 2:4 says: “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.”
Here, God laughs because men think they can plot and work against God with any hope of success, as explained in Psalm 2:1-3.
As King David wrote this Psalm, he thought of how strange it is that people rage against God. They have no reason to rage against God, and they gain no benefit from it. Even though men band themselves together against God, it gives no better chance against Him. Worst of all, they think of God and His Messiah as bondage-bringers. They say, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” This shows how irrational their rage is, because God is a bondage-breaker, not a bondage-bringer.
What is God’s response to the rage of the nations, and their plotting against Him? “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh.” God looks at the way men plot against Him and He laughs. God isn’t afraid or confused or depressed about the opposition of man. God laughs at it.
God laughs because His position: He sits in the heavens. He sits as the Great King on a glorious throne. He isn’t pacing back and forth in the throne room of heaven, wondering what He should do next. The Lord isn’t worried, and He has never had a panic attack. God sits in perfect peace and assurance. When men rage and plot against God, He doesn’t even rise from where He sits; God simply laughs.
God laughs because of where He is: He sits in the heavens. It isn’t an earthly throne He occupies; it is the throne of heaven with authority over all creation. In all of history the rage of earth has never damaged heaven. What does heaven have to fear from earth?
Please notice that God does not laugh at the suffering of humankind, or even at their suffering as a result of sin. Instead, God laughs at the proud man or woman who thinks so highly of himself or herself that they will fight against God and seek to prevent His will. God shows all sympathy and compassion for the suffering, but the rage of man against heaven simply makes Him laugh.
Simply said, “The Lord shall hold them in derision.” God isn’t afraid of man, nor is He worried in the slightest. Through the centuries many people have opposed God and His Kingdom in Jesus Christ. Each one of these opponents has been frustrated and crushed – and ever more, they shall be. In every generation there are arrogant voices that think they have put the last nail in the coffin that buries the Church. It won’t happen, and God just laughs.
The Roman Emperor Diocletian was a famous enemy of Christians. He actually thought that he defeated Christianity, and said so on medals and monuments.
Yet, “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh.”
Diocletian is dead and gone, and he fills a few paragraphs on the pages of history. In contrast, the fame and glory of Jesus Christ is spread over all the earth. Multiplied millions would give their life for the name and Gospel of Jesus; Diocletian is barely remembered. What was true of Diocletian is true of all those set themselves against God: “The Lord shall hold them in derision.”