“Every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.”—2 Chronicles 9:21b
Why did King Solomon want apes? Could it be he enjoyed their laughter? Apes such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans are among the very few animals who actually laugh making facial expressions while opening their mouths, wiggling their lips, and shaking their heads. Chimpanzees are actually ticklish in their armpits and bellies. Do you need a good laugh? Go to the zoo and watch the apes for a while. If you catch them during play time, you will surely be amused by their antics.
Remember the words of the queen of Sheba to King Solomon, as she observed his court of cheerful courtiers: “Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom” (2 Chronicles 9:7).
I am not sure if his men were enjoying watching monkey business or not, but a merry heart still works wonders even today. Others are watching as we serve our King. How obviously happy would they say we are?