Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” (Genesis 17:17)
The Hebrew word translated as “and laughed” is ויצחק va’yitzhak — or we could say, “and Isaac.” Consequently, his son would be named after what he and his wife did when told they would have a child. Some commentators suggest that Abraham laughed because he was joyous with the news while Sarah laughed because she was skeptical. Whatever the motivation, the result was the son of promise would remind them of their reaction to the news.
The Bible says that Abraham said to himself, “Shall a 100 yr. old man and a 90 yr. old woman have a child?” That is interesting because the two Hebrew letters that are equivalent to the values 100 and 90 are ק kuf and צ tzade, respectively. Together these two letters form the word קץ katz or “end,” thus hinting at the fact that they were approaching the end of life. However, in the name Yitzhak (Isaac), these same two letters are joined by the Hebrew letter called ח chet, which is the letter of life.
So very often in Scripture and in our own lives we see situations that, left to our own logic and understanding, would seem to be the end — the end of life, the end of hope and the end of opportunity. Yet, again and again, we see how the Creator intervened on behalf of Israel and how He intervenes for us.
We should never doubt His promise, even when the situation seems to be hopeless. With God there is hope and there is always the spark needed for life to come forth. Christ told us that what might seem like an impossibility with us poses no problem for God.
“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Never laugh at God’s promises in a way that suggests there is doubt and unbelief. When the promise comes to pass, remember to laugh for joy at the goodness of our God.
Blessings and Shalom,