For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you; cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you.
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool
Cast away your excess of laughter far from you
Thus far we have considered the worthiness of both joy and solemnity, the different times that call for each. It also seems worthwhile now to mention the inappropriate application of each. Today we will look at inappropriate laughter.
There is nothing wrong with being happy, enjoying a moment of good feelings, smiling, laughing, and pleasantly being with those we love. But I’m sure we can all think of situations where others or ourselves have taken it too far. Consider, for example the screeching, forced laughter of someone trying to get everyone to look at them at a party.
That behavior reminds me directly of this verse from Ecclesiastes. It is an older expression, but the crackling of thorns is in reference to how throwing thorns on a fire would result in an immediate and loud blaze, which quickly consumed all of its fuel and then died out without providing any lasting heat. It was flashy, but it was worthless for heating whatever you had in the pot.
True joy means something, it bubbles out in warm laughter that has a real depth beneath it. But raucous screeching has nothing of substance behind. It comes only from a place of desperate vanity. It flashes, it crackles, it calls for attention…and then it evaporates into emptiness.