Giddily gliding along the broad road that leads to destruction!
(Arthur Pink, "Laughter")
There is a natural laughter, which is innocent and harmless.
There is a spiritual laughter, which is God-pleasing and beneficial.
There is a carnal laughter, which is sinful and injurious.
"Woe unto you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep!" (Luke 6:25). The laughter which Christ here denounced, was a state of heart which lived only for the present, and had no serious concern for the future. It was His censure of those who are giddily gliding along the broad road that leads to destruction! In the light of the immediate context, the reference is to those who rejoiced in the abundance of their worldly possessions, and found their delight in making gods of their bellies.
"I said of laughter, 'It is madness,' and of pleasure, 'What does it accomplish?'" (Ecclesiastes 2:2). Those were the words of one who was granted the opportunity and afforded the means, of gratifying every carnal desire and of obtaining every object which the natural heart and eye can covet — only to prove from experience, that all were but "vanity and vexation of spirit." There is no real or lasting happiness in anything which money can purchase. The void within the human heart cannot be filled by the objects of time and sense. For one to pursue the shadows — and miss the substance; to devote himself to the things which perish with the using — yet be indifferent to those which are eternal; to seek his delight in gratifying the lusts of the flesh — and neglect the welfare of his soul, is nothing but a species of insanity! "For as the crackling of thorns under a pot [noisy, but of brief duration] — so is the laughter of the fool!" (Ecclesiastes 7:6).
"All who see Me, laugh Me to scorn!" (Psalm 22:7). So far were they from pitying Him, they added to His afflictions with their ribaldry, making jest of His very sufferings! Horrid humanity! Fearful impiety! None should ever doubt the total depravity of man, as they see here to what unspeakable depths of iniquity man sinks, when the restraining hand of God is removed from him! The spectators of the dying Redeemer's agonies, exerted the utmost of the venom of their hearts upon Him! This was a Diabolical laughter!
There is also a divine laughter, which is dreadful and disastrous. To such David referred: "He who sits in the heavens shall laugh" (Psalm 2:4), which is the laughter of derision against those who think to defy Him with impunity.
And again God says, "I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear comes!" (Proverbs 1:26), which is the laughter of divine retribution. He has "called" — by His Word, His providences, His ministers, and their own consciences — but they "refused" to heed Him. They were neither melted by the abundance of His mercies — nor awed by the dreadfulness of His threats. They did not respect His Law — and had no heart for His Gospel. But though He bears the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction with much long-suffering, He has appointed a day when they shall be made to reap as they have sown. As they scorned His messengers when they warned of the wrath to come — so shall He turn a deaf ear then to their cries for mercy, and righteously laugh at their calamity! Oh, that none our readers may ever be the objects of this laugh!