Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap”
Mockery—it’s a term that seems to exemplify the fool. When I think of a mocker and having grown up in the Star Wars generation, I’m reminded of a little kowakian monkey-lizard with a shrill cackle, the Salacious Crumb. This creature who sat on Jabba’s dais, stole bits of food and mimicked the Hutt, his courtiers, and visitors. I realize it sounds a bit nerdy using a facetious character from a sci-fi movie as an example but the cackling laugh from that strange little creature seemed to exemplify the ultimate lowliness of a mocker. The creature had no power, was scared of its own shadow, and had a wasted look about it that outwardly revealed how pathetic it really was.
Mocking others has always seemed to imply such a low position of respect that the very thought of a mocker is repulsive. How many times did I witness kids when I was young mocking someone, only to see them being gratified by the laughter of those around them.
Job 21:3 “Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.”
How does someone find themselves in a position that makes mockery acceptable?
At the core of every human being lies a nature of sin. This nature was inherited through Adam’s disobedience and has continued ever since. All that is ugly, evil, despicable, or that brings shame originates from this sinful nature. The enemy of our souls takes advantage of this nature in people and uses it to exploit every form of evil we see perpetuated today. Alcohol is a major contributor to those who have repressed their sinful natures and can derail those who strive to exemplify the nature of Christ.
Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
Blatant mockery leaves little doubt to the inherent foolishness being exhibited in someone’s behavior while other forms are less obvious.
- Laughter, especially on the part of the speaker, acting as a cue that others are invited to laugh also
- Phonetic practices, such as a “smile voice” and modulating “sing-song” pitch which mark actions “as laughable”, denote an exaggerated level of animation, and indicate irony
- Facial cues, such as smiling, winking or other intentionally exaggerated expressions which mark actions as laughable, ironic, and non-serious
- Bodily cues, such as covering the face, or clapping
- Exaggeration, emphasizing extreme cases and making claims obviously above or below what is reasonable
- Incongruity through allusions and presuppositions to create implicit contrast
- Formulaicity and “topic shift markers” to indicate an end to non-seriousness and a return to serious interaction
The root word mock traces to the Old French mocquer (later moquer), meaning to scoff at, laugh at, deride, or fool, although the origin of mocquer is itself unknown. Labeling a person or thing as a mockery may also be used to imply that it or they are a poor quality or counterfeit version of some genuine other, such as the case in the usages: “mockery of man” or “the trial was a mockery of justice”.
In the greek, mockery is found in the term, myktērízō (from myktēr, “nose”) – properly, to turn up the nose, turning away to sneer; (figuratively) mock, scornfully disdain (contemptuously reject).
So, given the seriousness of being a mocker, what would lead someone to direct this toward God?
Sometimes, mocking God is not done intentionally.
Proverbs 17:5 “Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished..”
An interesting element to God is His affiliation with people. When someone mocks another person, they disdain the Creator of that person. God takes it personal when someone insults someone He has formed by His own hand.
Imagine you were a famous painter, renown for making tapestries adored by millions across the globe. While attending an exhibit of your own work you witness someone laughing at one of your pieces, making deriding remarks, and doing all they can to make a mockery of your work; you would be offended no doubt, you may even feel like defending your work to help the mocker understand your intent behind the piece.
When the mocker insults the work, he insults the creator of that work.
Another common example often cited in the Bible are scoffers. Scoffers are another form of mockers, with possibly a hint more cynicism.
Jude 1:18 “They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.”
We are reminded in the last days there will be an increase in scoffers. With the explosion of knowledge comes a people who think they know better than to trust in the Word of God. God’s people are told to stay away from these scoffers and they’ll be blessed.
Psalm 1:1 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;”
It seems reasonable that if there are a group of people who are inciting God’s wrath, it would behoove us to stand clear when God’s judgement falls. My thoughts go to Moses and the children of Israel who were faced with this same dilemma when a group of people chose to rebel against God and His servants.
Numbers 16:20-23,31-33 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” Then they fell on their faces, and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the congregation?” So the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’
”Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly.
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram decided to mock Moses and Aaron’s leadership, challenging their position that God had placed them in. What these men didn’t realize was that by challenging God’s servants, they were attacking the integrity of God himself.
Mockery is to challenge people’s honor.
For those who chose to stand behind these men, their fate was soon realized thereafter.
Numbers 16:35 “And a fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense.”
So whether your the mocker or just someone hanging out with scoffers, to associate with such people places yourself in the offenders camp.
Building Others Up
If you find yourself readily tearing others down, you have to ask yourself where this spirit is coming from. Is it from a heart of pride, discontent, conflict, or could it be an unresolved hurt that you’ve never addressed?
The counter to mockery is encouragement.
It’s not easy encouraging someone your frustrated with. Maybe a person has been offensive or you’ve witnessed them treating others poorly and so you lost respect for them. It takes humility, a lowering of your pride and position to build others up who you might feel don’t deserve it.
Proverbs 3:34 “Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.”
If we maintain a fellowship with God’s Spirit every day, we will see the love of God exhibited in our lives. Our desires become connected with God’s desires when we walk in Him.
A clear indication of a mocker is one following after their own desires.
2 Peter 3:3-7 “Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.”
- Our selfish desires seek to build ourselves up while tearing others down.
- God’s desire is for salvation (Acts 28:28)
- Our desires lead us to hurt others like we’ve been hurt.
- God says that vengeance is His, He will repay.(Hebrews 10:30)
- Our desires seek to gather support from others.
- The righteous seek God’s approval.(Galatians 1:10)
I write this with myself in mind. I have to continually check my attitude at the door and remind myself that I live for a greater purpose—to please God. It’s not easy bringing our attitudes into alignment with God’s purposes, our nature desires otherwise, but if do, we have God’s promises as being called children of God.
Remember the value God places in people in how you treat them.