I do like Rick Warren and normally I hate to pick on him but something he wrote a couple of years ago is a good example of missinterpreting Scripture. In an article entitled “Learning to Laugh” he writes,
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 2:4, “The One enthroned in heaven laughs.” Isn’t that a great verse? God has a sense of humor. God laughs! Have you ever seen the face of an orangutan? God thought that one up! That proves he has a sense of humor. Do you want to be more like God? Learn to laugh. A sense of humor can preserve your sanity.
Warren also references Prov. 17: 22 in support of his statement,“A joyful heart is good medicine.” but his treatment of Psalm 2: 4 is what I want to deal with. Firstly, the context in this reading is totally ignored. God laughs, but why? The nations of the earth are planning against God and his followers. They set traps against God and his anointed ones. It is at the feeble opposition of the nations that God laughs; not a heart warming chuckle or a pleasant belly laugh.
After God laughs in verse 4, God speaks in anger and the nations are filled with terror. Not so funny now! Psalm 2 is a Royal Psalm in which despite the opposition of the nations (vv. 1 -3), the supreme King Jesus is installed (vv. 4-6). The Psalmist exhorts the world rulers to submit to the Son to avoid his wrath (vv. 10-12)2. This Psalm is not an invitation to have a good laugh. It is a sobering plea to submit to the rule of the Almighty or be destroyed by his wrath. That’s not funny at all!
God’s wrath is very serious, but at the same time it is something that has been completely absorbed by Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who has taken away the sins of the world.