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Question and Answer

Proverbs 1:26 says “I will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you. . .” Does God laugh at people who lack wisdom?

The text is part of a long paragraph in which wisdom is personified in order to make a point. Wisdom is not God, though to a certain extent it reveals the mind of God. Wisdom laughs at fools, who are defined not as unintelligent but as character–deficient people who “hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord” (v. 29). The passage recalls 2 Thessalonians 2:10: “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved . . . [they] have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” Such is the fool. Having embraced folly, he ends up a laughingstock.

Does God also laugh at fools? At their pretensions, yes. That is the meaning of Psalm 2:4. But it is the laughter of scorn, not amusement. God is not up there chuckling over the fate of fools. As it is written, “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live (Ezek. 33:11).

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