Joy To The World


Joy to the World is a very well-known Christmas song, and can seem a bit cliché to us who have heard it a lot, but it has a lot of beautiful and amazing things in it. From the bit of research that I did on it to see if there was anything interesting in its history, I discovered that some people believe that it originally came from a 1719 translation of the Psalms by Isaac Watts. It seems that the person who set the words to music (Lowell Mason) ascribed the lyrics to Handel to give it popularity (a common thing back then). Only relatively recently it was discovered that it could actually have been King David that originally wrote the words. I do not know if this is true or not, but it is interesting, and it at least leaves room for the possibility that the the beauty of the theology here came from the direct inspiration of God, though far removed.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come,
Let earth receive her king,
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and heav’n and nature sing.

The interesting thing that I see about this verse is the connection between the coming of the Lord God as King, and us preparing room for Him, not in an earthly kingdom, but in our hearts. We are His kingdom, and we need to show Him reverence and obedience!

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns,
Let men their songs employ,
While fields and floods,
Rocks, hills, and plains,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

Notice that in this verse the universe is repeating the songs that the men sing. We need to proclaim the glory of God that the universe bears testimony to! They do not themselves sing: we do. They bear testimony in us that we cannot with impunity ignore. We need to declare the wondrous works of God that He has made manifest in His creation!

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove,
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders of His love.

God loves to bring us and the nations to sweet fellowship with Him, and to show us how glorious His righteousness is. But we often neglect to hear Him, and we refuse to hearken to His loving call. But His Truth is still true, and the world still proves His goodness through it. When we yield to Him we see this, and we also see how much He is pained to have us reject His transforming grace. Joy comes to us as we bring joy to Him.

With joy and peace in Christ,

Jay Lauser


4 Responses

  1. Wow, thanks for that wonderful post, Sir Emeth. 🙂 I’m ashamed to admit that I sometimes sing those Christmas carols without really thinking what they mean. Well, not this year. 😀

    An advanced ‘Merry Christmas’ to you! 🙂

  2. I’m never going to think of that song in the same way again.
    Thanks Jay! 🙂

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